A voice from Harper's Ferry
A VOICE FROM HARPER'S FERRY.
NARRATIVE OF EVENTS
INCIDENTS PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO ITS CAPTURE BY
My sole purpose in publishing the following Narrative is to save from oblivion the facts connected with one of the most important movements of this age, with reference to the overthrow of American slavery. My own personal experience in it, under the orders of Capt. Brown, on the 16th and 17th of October, 1859, as the only man alive who was at Harper's Ferry during the entire time—the unsuccessful groping after these facts, by individuals, impossible to be obtained, except from an actor in the scene—and the conviction that the cause of impartial liberty requires this duty at my hands—alone have been the motives for writing and circulating the little book herewith presented.
I will not, under such circumstances, insult nor burden the intelligent with excuses for defects in composition, nor for the attempt to give the facts. A plain, unadorned, truthful story is wanted, and that by one who knows what he says, who is known to have been at the great encounter, and to have labored in shaping the same. My identity as a member of Capt. Brown's company cannot be questioned, successfully, by any who are bent upon suppressing the truth; neither will it be by any in Canada or the United States familiar with John Brown and his plans, as those know his men personally, or by reputation, who enjoyed his confidence sufficiently to know thoroughly his plans.
The readers of this narrative will therefore keep steadily in view the main point—that they are perusing a story of events which have happened under the eye of the great Captain, or are incidental thereto, and not a compendium of the "plans" of Capt. Brown; for as his plans were not consummated, and as their fulfilment is committed to the future, no one to whom they are known will recklessly expose all of them to the public gaze. Much has been given as true that never happened; much has been omitted that should have been made known; many things have been left unsaid, because, up to within a short time, but two could say them; one of them has been offered up, a sacrifice to the Moloch, Slavery; being that other one, I propose to perform the duty, trusting to that portion of the public who love the right for an appreciation of my endeavor.