Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/55

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

hostages after being sheltered from any pursuit.

“Don′t worry about us ; fire, fire ;” shouted one of the prisoners, Colonel Lewis Washington, loud enough to be heard outside.

Colonel Lee had agreed with his peace emissary, whom he could see from afar, that the latter would take his hat off if John Brown remained inexorable. The very instant that the hat was slowly raised, the Marines launched their attack with such impetuosity that the hostages were surrounded and separated from the insurgents before the latter had time to use their arms. John Brown, wounded, was protected against the population′s fury and handed over, with his companions, to the regular courts. As for Colonel Lee, he regained Texas.

Up until the time we are speaking of (1860), the President of the U. S. A., having always belonged to the Southern Party, had weighed in favor of maintaining the status quo more or less openly . The result was that congressional votes had always been neutralized to a certain extent. This was not a situation that could last.

In 1860, for the first time, a man from the North, Abraham Lincoln -- the rugged carpenter from Illinois -- the one who was to be named by all voters, ‘Honest Abe’ -- was called to the presidential chair. The election had a definite signification. It warned the Southern states that the days of privileged treatment were gone. It was not because the newly elected president was a fervent abolitionist that they felt