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John Brown, letter known as Old Brown's Parallels

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Old Brown’s parallels
Trading Post, Kansas, Jany, 1859
You will greatly oblige a humble friend by allowing me the use of your colums while I briefly state two parallels, in my poor way. Not one year ago Eleven quiet citizens of this neighborhood, Viz. Wm Robertson, Wm Colpetzer, Amos Hall, Austin Hall, John Campbell, Asa Snyder, Thos Stilwell, Wm Hairgrove, Asa Hairgrove, Patrick Ross, B. L[xxx]. Reed.
Were gathered up from their work, & their homes, by an armed force under one Hamilton, & without trial, or opportunity to speak in their own defense, were formed into a line, & all but one shot; five killed, & five wounded. One fell unharmed, pretending to be dead. All were left for dead. The only crime charged against them was that of being free-state men. Now, I inquire, what action has ever, since the occurrence, in May last been taken by either the President of the United States, the Governor of Missouri, the Governor of Kansas, or any of their tools, or by any proslavery or administration man, to ferret out and punish the perpetrators of this crime. Now for the other parallel. On Sunday, the 19 of December, a negro man called Jim, came over to the Osage, settlement, from Missouri, & stated that

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he, together with his wife, two children, & another negro man were to be sold within a day or two, & beged for help to get away. On Monday the following night two small companies were made up to go to Missouri & forcibly liberate the five slaves, together with other slaves. One of those companies I assumed to direct. We proceeded to the place, surrounded the buildings, liberated the slaves, & also took certain property supposed to belong to the Estate. We however learned before leaveing that a portion of the articles we had taken belonged to a man living on the plantation as a tenant, & who was supposed to have no interest in the Estate. We promptly restored to him all we had taken. We then went to another plantation where we freed five more slaves, took some property, & two white men. We moved all slowly away into the Territory for some distance & then sent the White men back, telling them to follow us as soon as they chose to do so. The other company freed one female slave, took some property & as I am informed Killed one white man, (the master) who fought against the liberation. Now for a comparison. Eleven persons are forcibly restored to their natural & inalienable rights, with but one man Killed, & all “Hell is stirred from beneath.” It is currently reported that the

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Governor of Missouri has made a requisition upon the Governor of Kansas for the delivery of all such as were concerned in the last named “dreadful outage”. The Marshal of Kansas is said to be collecting a possee of Missouri (not Kansas) men at West Point, in Missouri, a little town about ten miles distant, to “enforce the laws”. All proslavery conservative Free State, doughfaced men & administration tools are filled with holy honor.
Consider the two cases and the action of the Administration party
Respectfully yours
John Brown

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