On the eastern shore of Put-in-Bay Island, in Lake Erie, quite out of the way of the summer pleasurer at the great hotels of the northern shore, stands the two-story frame farm-house of John Brown, Jr. It rises out of a fair landscape of sunny vineyards, the path to it from the main road leading through a tangle of grapes. A natural lawn slopes prettily from the house down to the water, across which, seven or eight miles away, Kelley’s Island and the Ohio mainland look dreamily, in the half-tropical manner of most Lake Erie scenery. All these wine islands, indeed, see one another dimly and drowsily, as if drunk with the mellowness of their own vintages.
In this quiet place, after fighting his enemies in Kansas, and being driven by them in chains till the iron had worn its way into the flesh, after being hunted from place to place for the attempt at Harper’s Ferry, although he was not there; and after having to leave the company he led to the late war on account of a disease contracted in the first battles against slaver – in this quiet place, I say, lives John Brown, Jr. He moved here nine or ten years ago when these pleasant vineyards were wild land; and now so modest and peaceable is he that you would never imagine he had fired a gun in his life.
When I called at this house and inquired for Mr. Brown, the plain, motherly-looking woman who came to the door, asked which Mr. Brown I wanted, John or Owen. This mild-voiced matron, as I afterward found, was John Brown, Jr.’s, wife, who had shared the dangers and hardships of Kansas border-life with her husband; and it was from her, then and there, that I learned Owen Brown was on the island. She told me the two brothers were mowing in a neighboring field. And there I found them: John, a large, well-made man; Owen, slenderer, though somewhat above the middle height, and of the two looking the more like the old hero of Ossawattomie. They each have bushy eyebrows and wear a full beard, sandy, as their father’s was once, and beginning to whiten as his did at their ages. Owen shows, perhaps, all his forty-nine years, while John looks younger at fifty-two. They were both in their hickory-shirt sleeves, and wore trousers of blue drilling; but I have seen no handsomer men, among the throngs who have come and gone at the fashionable hotels, in the course of my summer’s sojourn on the island. Certainly I have met no one, at Put-in-Bay, or anywhere else, who had to a higher degree that subtle quality which can make the texture of any given attire gentlemanly.
There, coming up to the fence to salute me, was the eldest of old John Brown’s sons, the quiet, genial, warm-hearted farmer, amateur geologist, and land surveyor, John Brown, Jr. And there, leaning on his scythe, was Owen Brown, the sole survivor of the little party he led through the mountains, in that marvelous escape of his, and – if, as is supposed, Osborn Anderson, the mulatto, is dead – the only one living of all the company that went with Captain John Brown to Harper’s Ferry. There was a gentle courtesy in the talk and manner of both these men that I cannot write down for you; and I surely never met more thorough, genuine modesty. At that first interview, I could get them to say little of themselves. They had heard somewhat of my own wayward story; and with the curiosity, not of ignorant, but of well-read, well-bred men, they questioned me back, so to speak, into some of the by-ways of my early experience. They were particularly curious about certain rarely visited places beyond the sea. I tell this, because it may help you to see the picture of these two men as I saw it, looking back after parting with them that summer afternoon. They stood leaning against the rail-fence, their scythes on their shoulders, gazing silently after me; and as the slanting sunlight fell upon their honest faces, I could see as plainly, it seems to me, as I ever saw anything, not the stern lineaments of historic warriors, who have gone back to their farms, but an artless aspiration, like that of the village boy for the sailor’s adventurous life. These men, unmindful of the part they had had in deeds which, well or ill advised, have sent the world along, were modestly putting my pigmy story ahead of their heroic one, in the eager wish that fate had sent them wandering among strange people and in far-off lands.
It was not till after we had met very often that Owen Brown consented to tell me the story of his escape, or that John told me enough of his father’s plans to give a dignity to the attempt at Harper’s Ferry, which I confess it had never before seemed to me, in my ignorance, to have. John Brown, Jr., was at home in Ashtabula County, Ohio, at the time of the attack. He had just returned from Canada, where he had been organizing the pluckiest and most trustworthy of the escaped slaves, at some of the border towns. He would have been at Harper’s Ferry, if his father had not been driven to begin operations before the appointed time. The reason for striking the blow so soon was that he had been betrayed to the government. Moreover, the people in the neighborhood had begun to suspect him. John Brown’s entire plan has never, I think, been published. His object, as his friends know, was to make slave-holding so unsafe and unstable as to render it unprofitable, and so lead to its abolition. He and his company had already in effect driven slavery out of Kansas, and lessened the value of slaves in Missouri and the Border States to the amount of at least a million dollars. This had been done by a handful of men, with the combined power and influence of the government against them. John Brown remembered that the Seminoles were never fairly conquered, and had, twenty years before, while surveying in the neighborhood of Harper’s Ferry, resolved to make the Alleghany and Cumberland Mountains and the Dismal Swamp his everglades. The least he expected the government to send against him was an army of twenty thousand; and his plans were so laid that they could never capture over one hundred of his men at a time, and of these all but two or three should be fugitive slaves. The risings were planned to take place in a dozen different directions in a night, the companies to be kept separate. The slaves were not to be taken to the North, but drilled and taught to conquer their homes in the South. They were to be officered by men who had proved worthy, and who were to restrain them from acts of violence. The slave-holders were to be taken prisoners where they stood in the way, and injured personally only if they resisted. It was John Brown’s desire to show the slave-holders from the first the humanity of his intentions, that caused him to delay his escape from the engine-house at Harper’s Ferry until it was too late. Hundreds of men were sworn to be there, and if he could have waited till the time in the spring agreed upon for the attack, it would probably have been successful. The courage and fortitude of the wonderful old man have been allowed even by his enemies. It was hard for the Virginians, as it would have been hard for most men, to whom every black man counted a thousand dollars, to recognize the right of revolution in four millions of human beings, but they did acknowledge that John Brown was all through the stuff of which his answers were made when Governor Wise and Senator Mason questioned him, wounded and bleeding upon the engine-house floor; and that was just the sort of insanity, it seems to me, that heroes and reformers have been made of ever since the world began. He had waited twenty years; he was too old to wait twenty years longer. The blow, he thought, must be struck then or never. To him and his men life was nothing in comparison with what had been so long the one absorbing object of it. Even as it was, if he had cared less for the feelings of the wives and children of his prisoners, and had gone to the mountains when he could have gone, - and he accused himself of the mistake, without implicating his friends at the North, - the war would certainly have lasted longer, and would not have closed so disastrously. This last statement could have, I believe, no better confirmation than is in the fact of the remarkable escape of Owen Brown and his little band, with thousands of dollars upon their heads, and hundreds of thousands of people eager to catch them.
In his father’s will and published letters, Owen Brown is spoken of as a cripple. He injured his right arm in throwing a stone when a boy, and has since had only the partial use of it. He is a bachelor, and it was in his one-roomed shanty, a little way from his brother’s farm-house, that I wrote down, from his own lips, the following account of his escape from Harper’s Ferry. Upon the wall just above my head hung an overcoat, once worn by his father; and on a bench beneath the window at my side lay the gun used, I believe, by the old warrior at the fight of Ossawattomie. The place, indeed, was full of mementos. Most of the homely furniture was, I think, heroic in its way, like the whole family. “None of us,” said Owen Brown, with his usual deliberation, stroking his full beard and looking at his father’s gun, when I interrupted his narrative to ask if he were not afraid on a certain perilous occasion, “none of us ever made much pretension to being scared.”
He had not told the story before, he assured me, in twelve years. The honesty and modesty are so ingrained in the man that any one, I imagine, who had listened to him, would have been willing to swear that Owen Brown was telling what he believed to be the truth. Where he did not know of his own personal knowledge, and even when a statement had the authority of trustworthy record, he would invariably say, “I have hear; I do not know, I have heard.” Names of men and places he had strangely forgotten; in their hungry wandering in the mountains, he and his little company had even lost their reckoning of the days of the week; yet so strong is the woodsman in him, that he gave me not only the direction and probable extent of every mountain and valley he passed, night or day, but the nature and quality of the timber almost everywhere in his way. I found him entirely free from malice, even against the bitterest of his old enemies. He passed over the most dangerous and dramatic parts of his story without the least emphasis, giving them to me often by way of parenthesis. In his deliberation and tones and look there were qualities that evaporate entirely, of course, from the written narrative. The only substitute I can think of for the reader is, that he shall bear constantly in mind what kind of men old John Brown told the Massachusetts legislature he wanted with him, - “men who fear God too much to fear anything human.” And Owen Brown was one of them.
The last time I saw my father [that is the way Owen Brown began the account of his escape from Harper’s Ferry] was on the Sunday night of the attack, the 16th of October, 1859. It was about eleven o’clock that night when he and his little company started from what we called our boarding-house, on the Kennedy farm, five miles north of Harper’s Ferry. The Kennedy farm, you will remember, was rented by father under the name of Isaac Smith. He left Barclay Coppoc, Frank J. Merriam, and myself to guard the arms and ammunition stored on the premises, until it should be time to move them, either to the school-house, a mile from Harper’s Ferry, or to the Ferry itself. Barclay Coppoc was a brother to Edwin, who was, you recollect, hanged soon after my father, at Charlestown, Virginia. The mother of the Coppocs was a Quakeress; their father was dead. Before they joined our company, they lived at Springdale, Iowa. They came originally from Columbiana County, Ohio. Barclay Coppoc, the one who was with me through so much hardship, was a medium-sized young man, not over twenty-two or twenty-three years old. He did not look very healthy, but could stand a great deal, as you shall see. Still he was not so well educated or so energetic as his brother who was hanged. Frank J. Merriam was one of the wealthy Massachusetts Merriams. He was twenty-eight or thirty years old at the time. He had easy, unassuming manners. The only thing very positive about him was his hatred of slavery.
Well, such were the two men my father left with me that night as he marched away into the darkness. Neither of them had been with us in Kansas, and so I thought best to stand guard all night myself, letting them sleep. No echo of the events which were happening reached me in my long watch. But towards six o'clock in the morning, we all heard firing in the direction of Harper's Ferry. The rain, which continued at intervals all that day and the next night, had already set in. About eleven o'clock that forenoon, a slave of Col. Lewis Washington, whom with others my father then held a prisoner, came u with a four-horse wagon after a load of arms. One of my father's men came with him; I forget now who it was. They knew little more about the details of the fight than we did. While they put their team under shelter and fed it, I got dinner for them. I had almost always been the cook for our company at the boardinghouse. Then we loaded the wagon as quickly as we could with powder and boxes of revolvers and Sharpe's rifles, which father had managed to have shipped to him under the name of John Smith & Sons. The wagon drove away to the school-house, before mentioned, where the arms were to be stored. Between two and three that afternoon, we heard a great deal of firing in the direction of Harper's Ferry. Later in the afternoon a black man came up on horseback, and asked us to go over to the Ferry and help in the fight. I don't know that he had any authority but his fears; for I think he must have come from the school-house where some of Washington's and Alstadt's slaves were congregated. At any rate I put things in order, feeling somehow as if we were never going to get back there again. I told some of the neighbors where they could help themselves to the provisions and things, if they wanted them, and I tied to the rude stairway, so that he should not follow me, the pup, which have heard grew to a great, ferocious dog, in the accounts of the people who afterwards captured the vacant boarding-house. Then, arming ourselves well with rifles and revolvers, we started toward the Ferry through the rain, Coppoc, Merriam, and myself on foot, the negro riding his horse. We had got about a mile on our way, when we saw three men approaching us briskly on mules. It was getting towards night. I ordered them to halt, which they did with frightened readiness. We soon learned that they were not looking for us. All they knew about affairs at the Ferry was that folks were shooting one another down there, and they wanted to get home as soon as their mules would carry them. We let them pass, and pursued our way. Shortly after we saw coming towards us in the dusk, an armed man. I ordered him to halt. He hesitated, and I don't know whether he would have obeyed or not, if we had not just then recognized each other. It was Tidd, one of my father's men, - Charles Plummer Tidd, a large, strong, determined fellow, in the prime of life. He was once a lumberman in his native State of Maine. He had been with us in Kansas, and was a great friend of Stevens, my father's gallant lieutenant, who was hanged at Charlestown. Tidd had been on duty at the school-house. He told us that our men were all hemmed in at Harper's Ferry that many of them were killed, and that there was no chance for any of them to escape. "The fact is, boys," concluded Tidd, "we are used up; the best thing we can do is to get away from here as quick as we can." "We mustn't desert our friends," I said, and proposed to go on to the school-house, collect the slaves left there, and then cross the ravine up through the forest on to the point of rocks upon the mountain opposite Harper's Ferry, where with our long-range guns we might divert or frighten away the enemy, and let our people escape. Tidd thought the case hopeless, but consented to go with us to the school-house.
We had not gone on together over a mile farther, when we saw another armed man approaching us out of the dark. We ordered him to halt, and he replied by pluckily ordering us to halt ourselves. We recognized the voice of Cook, - John E. Cook, the same that was with us in Kansas and hanged in Charlestown. "Our men are all killed but seven," said Cook. "Your father was killed at four o'clock this afternoon." He did not know whether my two brothers - Oliver and Watson - were among the dead or not. Then he told us particulars, how the little band of seventeen whites and five blacks had surprised and taken the town and the armory, and held it, fighting all day long, but how at last companies amounting to eight hundred men had come in from surrounding towns in Maryland and Virginia, guarding all the bridges and every route in or out. The best and only thing for us to do, in Cook's opinion, was to make good our escape. I was opposed to deserting any friends who might want to escape with us, and we argued the case hastily there in the dark and rain. I prevailed on Cook to go reluctantly as far as the school-house, for provisions, and to see what had become of the liberated slaves. Cook had been exchanging shots with the enemy not far from the school-house, and now expected to find it occupied by hostile Virginians. When finally we came near it, Tidd and I left the others concealed in a thicket. Approaching nearer, we whistled and called for the black men, but got no answer. This seemed to confirm the idea of enemies there. Tidd hesitated, - but perhaps I ought not to tell you this about a comrade, - and I had difficulty in getting him to go into the school-house. He followed me, though, at last, revolver in hand, and I lit a candle and found the school-house - deserted.
There was in a corner nearly a barrelful of a kind of sweet biscuit which I had made myself, and I hurriedly thrust as many of them as I could into a bag. I took about twenty pounds of sugar in another bag - the common seamless bag. There lies one of them now under the bed, - the same one, I think. I'll get it out. You see it has on it "J. B.," father's initials. We had it in Kansas, too. That's all the provisions we took. Knew that we dared not build fires in our flight. Coming out of the school-house and joined by Cook, Merriam, Coppoc, and the negro, we lingered in the neighborhood perhaps an hour, calling the black men. The only answer that came to us out of the rain and darkness was the firing at Harper's Ferry, but a mile away. We saw no more of the liberated slaves. They probably went back to their plantations. It was plain now that we could not get to the top of the mountain opposite the Ferry before morning. Then our retreat would be cut off. I hated to give up the idea of helping our friends to escape, but I had to. We might have shown our good-will by killing one or two of the enemy; still it would have surely cost our lives. We finally decided to go back to the boarding-house on the Kennedy farm, and get our India-rubber blankets and other necessary things. I put the bags of biscuits and sugar across the negro's horse, and on the way made up my plan of escape. I had had some experience as an engineer on the underground railroad, and I had been a woodsman almost all my life. I told the boys if they stuck by me I felt pretty sure I could get them safely through to the North, and to Canada, if necessary.
The firing by this time had spread gradually over the country, showing that the people were thoroughly aroused and on the alert. We took a hasty supper at the boarding-house, and hurriedly seized what things we could carry away, resolving to sort them over by daylight in the woods, the next morning, and bury what we did not absolutely need. I took an empty shot-bag, I remember, to put salt in, but in my hurry forgot to put any salt in it. That bag will appear again further along in my story. We resolved to camp on the mountain, as near the farm-house as we dared, so as to aid in the escape of any other stragglers who might find their way there. In point of fact, as I afterwards heard from one of them, two of our men who had escaped from the Ferry did reach the house the next day after we had gone. They were Hazlett and Anderson, the mulatto. Hazlett, as you know, was afterwards taken above Chambersburg, and hanged with the rest. Osborn Anderson made his way into Canada. I saw him the next July in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and at North Elba, New York, where my father is buried. Anderson, it is said, has since gone to Liberia, and if he is living, - which something I have heard gives me reason to doubt, - he is the only other survivor of all my father's company at Harper's Ferry.
When we began to ascend the mountain I ordered the negro to turn his horse loose. "Why," exclaimed he, "dat horse is worth more'n a hundred an' fifty dollars!" and he didn't like to part with it. I had hard work to convince him that his life was worth more than the horse. Up the base of the mountain about a mile from the boarding-house, we halted in the laurel, and made our beds. It was raining, and very cold. We had not all learned, as we did afterwards, to keep warm by sharing the same bed. We spread an India-rubber blanket upon the earth, then a woolen blanket upon that, to lie on; then a woolen blanket for a cover, and an India-rubber blanket on top of all. Thus two men, clubbing together, had furniture for a good bed in the wettest weather. Here I told the boys my plan, - here in this camp, dark as only a laurel thicket can be on a starless, rainy night, the firing still going on at intervals, sometimes towards Harper's Ferry, and sometimes nearer at hand in the neighboring valleys. I explained that the mountains there extended in a northeasterly direction, which was also for a while our best direction towards our friends, or Canada. We must therefore follow the mountain ranges, making to the northwest when we could; traveling only at night upon the edges of the clearings; sleeping and hiding by day in the thickets on the uninhabited mountain-tops; shunning all traveled roads at all times, except as we were obliged to cross them in the night; building no fires; buying or stealing no provisions; in fact, not speaking aloud till we should, at least, get beyond Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. About this time the negro, who had been despondent all along, began to complain of rheumatism. He was afraid he couldn't go with us. I told him simply that he was certain to lose his life if he went back, and that I felt reasonably sure I could get him his freedom if he kept with us. Then the boys went to bed. Although I had had no sleep in two days and two nights, I sat up against a tree and watched. I began to feel suspicious of that negro, and I thought I had better keep an eye on him. He knew my plans, you see. He knew, also, that if he left us, his only hope of saving his life would be in divulging them. The beds were, for safety's sake, four or five rods apart. After a while the negro began to groan and complain of his rheumatism; said he couldn't lie comfortably, and wanted to sit up. I arose, and walking past him sat down on the nearest bed. I may have fallen asleep five or ten minutes, or more; I don't know. But when I came to look for the black man again, he was gone. I hunted and hallooed for him in vain. Then I roused up all the boys in a great hurry. They agreed with me that we must move at once, and change our plans as much as possible. All we could do to mislead pursuers was to make for another range of mountains which would take us in the same direction. There was a new road - just done that month - three miles north of us, across the mountains from the valley where our boarding-house was, to what I think was called Pleasant Valley. Our lives seemed to depend upon our getting across to the north of that road before daylight.
So we hastily sorted our property there in the dark. The two guns intended for the negro, and which he had not taken with him in his flight, we buried with many other things. We each took two long-range guns, with one or two revolvers apiece, besides a full heavy cartridge-box to a man. More than this, I carried that night about fifty pounds of provisions. The others were opposed to taking so much to eat, and one way or another, as you shall see, I carried the food almost all the time of our wanderings. We started up the mountains diagonally. It was very hard work getting through the laurel and up the steep places with our loads. We had to stop often to rest. While sitting on my pack I would sleep for two or three minutes. I had had so many chances to practice that I could always do that then. My father used to sleep when riding horseback. He got a good deal of his rest in Kansas in that way. Well, we didn't reach the top of the mountain we had to cross till after daylight. The rain had stopped, but it was foggy. We could see part of our boarding-house two or three miles below; there seemed no one around it. We still heard occasional firing toward the Ferry and in different directions about the country. We traveled the greater part of a mile, perhaps, along the rocky mountain-top before we came to the road which we were so anxious to get safely across. The fog was rising a little now with the sun. We could see no one on the road in the short distance open to view in both directions, and so we ventured across. We were not quite out of sight in the thicket on the northern side, when we heard the sound of horses' hoofs upon the wet ground, and lo! eight armed men rode briskly past over the mountain. We kept still till they had disappeared, and then we stole farther into the thicket, where we all five of us hid away in one bed for the rest of the day. Of course they did not see us. If they had seen us we would probably have had a desperate fight. We had determined never to be taken alive. Did the negro betray us? I can't tell for certain.
For all our narrow escape, I slept very soundly that day in the thicket. We awoke in the afternoon, and ate some of our biscuit and sugar, and discussed our affairs in a whisper. And by the way, I can give you no idea how tiresome and painful whispering becomes after two or three days. It is about as unnatural and soon grows as hard work as hallooing at the top of the voice. Another thing that became very wearisome was keeping my head in the position to watch the North star. Carrying the provisions over my shoulder, and looking up in that way night after night, guiding the party, got to be very painful indeed. Well, we discussed our affairs, as I said. Cook, in his fiery, quick-thinking way, was always proposing bold, hazardous measures. He to some extent carried Tidd and Coppoc with him; and so they were in favor of stealing horses, and riding right into death, which was lying in wait for us at every bridge and on every highway. Was there a reward on my head? Yes, I believe so. How much? Well, I've heard that it was twenty-five thousand dollars in all; more than it was worth, perhaps, but then I suppose I had done slavery more than that amount of damage in Kansas and around. Cook's wife, - he was the only married man in the party, - his wife was then in Chambersburg; and he was bent on going there. So were Tidd and Coppoc. Merriam always abided by my decision. Poor fellow! he soon saw he couldn't get through without me; he began to show symptoms of giving out, only a day or two after leaving Harper's Ferry. I waited for him and helped him along, especially in steep or rocky places; and after four or five days, I carried his luggage in addition to my own. Now, it was not in my original plan to go to Chambersburg, but I had to consent to go that way. They were all younger than I was, and any one, almost, except themselves, could have seen that they alone would lead themselves into destruction. Why, while we were lying there arguing in a whisper, a gray squirrel, attracted perhaps by the blue color of our blankets, mounted the tree right over us and chattered; soon after he was joined by a black one, and they both, chattering, approached within a few feet of us, and I had all I could do to keep Cook and Tidd from shooting them. Cook was probably the quickest and best shot with a revolver that I ever saw, and the temptation, I suppose, was very strong just then. Having prevailed upon the two men to spare their own lives with those of the squirrels, I could not keep them from going down to the edge of the clearing before dark. It was cold, and they would be moving. I insisted upon going ahead, as I always did afterwards in such places, the others being too apt to shoot whatever came in their way, men or animals. I told the boys if I saw any one I would make a signal, and they should all drop down. Just as we were approaching the clearing where we could see Pleasant Valley extended before us, I beheld a man coming along the path through the woods. He was carrying on his shoulders what seemed to be a sack of flour. I made the signal, and we all dropped down, not far from the path. I think the man saw us, but he saw also that there were five of us, with two guns apiece, and with wonderful presence of mind he walked on without speaking or turning his head. That askant look of his, however, I have reason to believe, cost a sleepless night to the inhabitants of at least ten miles of territory. I had no difficulty now in prevailing upon the boys to wait till later in the night, before attempting to cross the valley. And when finally we did start, we were no more than half way through the first field, when we saw and heard a horseman at full run upon the nearest road, and making the most hideous, terrible noise I ever heard come from mortal lips. He was alarming the valley. We afterwards heard that he startled the quiet denizens of that region by shouting to them that Cook's men were coming down from the mountains to massacre them all. Cook, you see, had been in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry, teaching school, for the last year nearly, and that is why they knew about him. So, as I have since heard, the inhabitants of Pleasant Valley fled for their lives precipitately across the Potomac, away over into Jefferson County, Virginia, and some of them as far as Winchester.
In the face of all this dreadful noise there was nothing for us to do, but press right on across the field toward the next mountain range east of the valley. Reaching the mountain, we pursued our journey along its side just above the clearings. Towards daylight, we went up to the top and concealed ourselves, eating our sugar and biscuits, and sleeping. This was our usual plan, and of course, we traveled very slowly. When we woke up in the afternoon, I had to argue myself hoarse, restraining the impetuosity of some of the others, especially Cook. He wanted to travel by the roads, and when the provisions began to get scarce, he insisted upon going to buy more. At last, to restrain him, I offered and he took all my share of the biscuits and sugar; so that I commenced a day and a half or two days before the other boys, to live upon the dry, hard Indian corn which we found still standing in the field. I would occasionally pull a hill of potatoes and eat some of them raw. When the biscuits and sugar finally gave out, and we were all reduced to the same diet of raw, hard corn, in order to restrain the boys from going after other provisions, I promised to share my money with them, as soon as it was safe to travel by roads. I had about forty dollars in gold; the others, excepting Merriam, had merely two or three dollars apiece. Thus we had passed perhaps five or six days, going up the mountains to sleep, and coming down to the edges of the woods to travel, when one night a cold rain set in. Towards morning it changed into snow; all day long the trees sagged with it, and our bed was covered with it - the one bed into which the whole five of us crawled, as I have told you, to keep warm. We slept beautifully. Starting on after dark, we came to where the mountain gave an unexpected turn too much to the east, and we had to cross a valley to the next range. This entailed the half-wading, half-swimming of a bridgeless stream, and a journey of at least five miles through the snow and wet, before we reached the mountains again. A little way up on the border of the forest, we found some pitch-pine shavings and some wood, and here, in spite of all I could say, the boys made a fire. We were all wet and cold and exhausted by want of food, and I suppose the temptation was pretty strong. It was not yet daylight. Our fire, a very bright one, had been burning but a little while when we were visited and startled, for a moment, by - an owl. He took his seat on a neighboring tree and hooted at us. In the course of half an hour, while we were munching our corn - we had no potatoes or we might have roasted them - we heard what were unmistakably human voices, calling to one another, it seemed, in the valley below. Soon after we heard the baying of hounds, evidently in pursuit of something, as any one used to dogs could tell. Now we had just crossed this valley, leaving our tracks, of course, in the snow, and the idea that we were followed immediately flashed upon us. We were not a minute in putting that fire out, scattering and covering every stick and ember in the snow and earth.
Then we hurried farther up the mountain into the thickets. We could hear all the time that the hounds were approaching us. On we pressed till after daylight. All of a sudden we came upon a clearing with a house on it, and a road running along the summit of the mountain, and a man driving a span of horses with a load of wood, along the road, - but a few rods away. Though the noise of the hounds was increasing and coming nearer and nearer, we had to wait till the man and team were out of sight. He fortunately did not see us. We traveled on perhaps a mile farther through the woods and laurel, until the day was so light and the hounds so near that we made up our minds it was time either to camp or fight. I counseled the boys, however, not to shoot the dogs, unless there were men with them. If you understand dogs, there isn't much danger from them. I never saw one that would bite me. Dogs, you see, are like men: if you pretend to know them, they are not sure but you do, and at least believe that a certain civility is due to the doubt. The fact that you aren't afraid of them, too, has to both dogs and men a convincing, peace-making mystery about it. And so we stopped and waited for the hounds. In a little while there was a light crackling of the brush, and a red fox with his tongue out, showing that he was much blown, broke past us down towards the valley. Soon after came the hounds. They stopped and stared at us a moment, then went on after the game. Had they been put on our track? Of course I cannot say for certain. If they were, they pursued the fox, instead, being no doubt more used to that sort of hunting. Some of us believed that if it had not been the little animal's struggle for life, it would have been ours. At any rate, the boys were not so prone to build fires after that. It was many days and nights, cold and wet ones too, before they attempted it again. We went on a mile or two farther, well out of the way of the dogs and fox, and there we camped, seeing no more of them or of any one else that day, or indeed the next two or three days.
There is a gap in the mountains on the pike below Boonesboro', leading from Hagerstown to Baltimore. That I knew would be a place of great danger; there was nothing like safety for us till we should get across that pike. We had no other practicable way of getting out of Maryland. And we heard enough firing both day and night to show us how thoroughly the country was aroused and after us. Already the want of salt, the scarcity of food, the change of night into day, the fatigue of carrying Merriam's luggage besides my own, and the bag of dry corn for all of us began to make me dizzy. I noticed that the others staggered sometimes. We would almost always every one of us fall asleep, when we sat down to rest, and we would sleep soundly, no matter how frosty it was. Finally, one night, we became aware that we were approaching this perilous gap in the mountains. When we came in sight of the pike in question, we heard the baying of hounds, in nearly every direction, - big hounds and little hounds and all sorts of dogs. I never heard so much barking before in my life. At a sudden trend in the mountain, the gap was opened up before us; and what a sight it was! There must have been a hundred fires in view, flaring out of the darkness, - alarm fires, we took them to be, of those who were watching for us. They had heard, as you know, that Cook had a large party of men, and they had, I presume, gone in there to head him off. Their hounds, probably, had followed them to camp, and had got after game in the neighborhood. There must have been a host of warriors, if there was any reasonable proportion between the men and dogs. I saw that our chances of getting out of that were very slight indeed. I did not say it to the boys, though. I told them very promptly that was no place for us. They were quite ready to follow me. We retraced our steps half a mile or more, came upon a road, and followed it, right past a tall log-house. Though a dog rushed out and barked at us, we thought best to keep straight on. We followed the road down the mountain till we came to a spring, where having hastily drunk and washed our faces, we turned off down to what we supposed was Cumberland Valley. Our object was to get across that Baltimore pike at some place out in the open valley, away from the gap and the people watching for us there. It was already as late as midnight. We could not tell exactly, for there was no time-piece in the party. It was plain to every one of us that our safety depended upon our getting across the pike and valley to the mountains beyond, before daylight. Nothing but the excitement of this fact enabled some of us - especially Merriam - to accomplish what we did that night.
Imagine our disappointment when, clambering down the rough mountain-side, using our guns to lean upon, as we generally did, we found that we had reached, not Cumberland Valley, but a ravine, with a steep mountain towering right in our way on the other side. There was nothing to do but climb it, and we buckled to it for our lives. It was nearly morning when we finally got down into Cumberland Valley. We hurried on, and in a large field bordering upon the pike, we were brought to a sudden standstill by an unearthly noise, which soon resolved itself in my accustomed ears into the frightened snort of a horse. The horse rushed away at the top of his speed, leaving some of the boys more scared than he was. Pursuing our way toward the pike, we were startled again with some cause, for we found we were marching straight upon a toll-gate. Sheering quickly to one side, we crossed the terrible pike about forty rods farther on, just as the first light of morning appeared. The baying of the hounds had not yet wholly ceased. A few moments after we were obliged to wade quite a large creek. We were hurrying on from that toward the mountains, when I happened to look back and found that Merriam was nowhere to be seen. Hurrying back to the steep bank of the creek we had crossed, I discovered him, poor fellow, unable to climb it. I tried to help him up, but was too tired and weak. I called Tidd and he took hold of Merriam rather impatiently, and, in pulling him up together, we bruised him against a projecting root. It was getting lighter all the time. We rushed on through a lately plowed field. The traveling of course was very hard, and our tracks would be very plain to our hundreds of pursuers. And there we were in the middle of that field, when clatter, clatter along the pike came forty or fifty armed horsemen, galloping by in plain view down toward the gorge in the mountains. We dropped and watched them out of sight. Then away we struggled for a hiding-place. When at last we reached the woods, we found them too sparse for our purpose, and went on and up the mountain, still finding no safe camping-ground. On the summit we came upon a sort of monument, or perhaps an observatory, in the shape of an unfinished tower. A white rag was flying from a pole at the top of it. Satisfying myself that no one was about, I went up the winding stairs to take a view of the surrounding country. The others were too much fatigued to go with me. I could see what I took to be the outskirts of Boonesboro', and enough of the valley we had crossed to give me a vivid idea of the danger we had escaped. Horsemen were scampering hither and thither on the highways, and the whole country, it seemed, was under arms. Descending hastily, I had little difficulty in impressing upon the boys how necessary it was that we should be in concealment. And still we followed along the ridge of that mountain-top for as much as three miles in broad daylight without finding a safe place. We at one time passed not far from an inhabited house, - fortunately unobserved. Finally, as we were about to sink under fatigue, we came to a large fallen tree, and made our bed in the forks of that. Tired as I was, I spent an hour cutting laurel bushes and sticking them into the ground at distances from one another. Laurel you know, will not wilt; and so with care the shrubs were made to conceal us, and look as if they grew there naturally. We were soon all fast asleep, and got through the day safely.
In our next night's travel along the top of the mountain it was so rough that one of Cook's boots gave out. You see I have plenty of pins sticking here in my shirt now. Well, I had a needle and thread with me then, and I stitched up Cook's boot as well as I could, using my knife-blade for an awl. It was this or the next night that Cook fell down a steep, rocky place. I heard something snap, when he fell, and thought it was his leg. It was the limb of the tree which had broken with him. He was not yet over the effects of a similar fall near Harper's Ferry. The other time he was taking aim at an enemy who was also taking aim at him, and got the first shot; for the branch upon which Cook steadied himself was cut off, just above his hand, by his enemy's bullet. He was now, therefore, pretty badly bruised; but we helped him up and he limped on with us.
It was only a day or so afterwards, I think, that we walked, besides all night, the whole forenoon, and into the afternoon. The woods were then so thick and extensive on the mountain-top that we thought it safe. The mountain range, after a while, swerved out of our direction, which now lay across a valley. Leaving Cook, Merriam, and Coppoc in the timber, I took Tidd and went to see if we could prudently cross that valley by daylight. We had gone on, Tidd and I, about a mile and a half when we came in sight of a road with teams going and coming on it. Farther on we could see a farm-house. While we were discussing the matter, and deciding that it would not be safe to cross the valley by daylight, there came wafted to our keen, hungry nostrils, from that farm-house at least forty rods away, the smell of something like doughnuts cooking. Never before or since has anything so boundlessly, bewilderingly delightful fallen upon my sense. It was too much for poor Tidd's endurance, and, indeed, that smell of distant cooking, as you shall see, did in effect cost a life. We were both weak and faint enough to stagger. Tidd vowed he wouldn't go a step farther without food. "You'll be all winter," he said, "and never get through after all; you'll starve and freeze to death. It is just as well to expose ourselves one way as another," and he took a long breath of the distant frying. I had the two arguments to withstand, Tidd's, and the lard-laden air. The latter was the more powerful, but I withstood them both. I promised him, as I had promised the others, that as soon as we got three nights north of Chambersburg, I would steal all the chickens, milk, and apples we needed. It would not do, I contended, to go to buying or even stealing provisions now. I am not in the habit of stealing, by the bye. But antislavery men would have been glad to give what little we needed to the cause, and proslavery men certainly owed it that much. That was the way I argued. Tidd, however, clung to the delightful, maddening odor, and his determination to go and buy food. As a great favor, I at last prevailed upon him to go first with me back to the place where we had left the other boys. And every one but myself agreed with Tidd. I had a large red silk handkerchief with white spots in it, given me by Mrs. Gerrit Smith. Well, this with the empty shot bag for salt, mentioned before, I gave to Cook, and told him, if they insisted on having food bought, he could wield the glibbest tongue, and tell the best story; he should go. Still I didn't want, - and I feel just as agitated now, almost, when I tell it, - I didn't want him to go. I needed food, I told them, as much as any of them; and if they would go and get it, it would be foolish in me not to help eat it. So, as I had more funds than the rest, I made him take my money to pay for it, begging him to the last not to go. In Cook's confession, he says we sent him for food. That is the way it was.
Cook was gone two or three hours, perhaps. He came back with a couple of loaves of bread, some salt in the bag, some good-boiled beef, and a pie. He had had a splendid visit, he said. He had stayed to dinner - which happened to be a little late that day - with the people of the farm-house; had made himself very agreeable, and told them the story we had concocted beforehand about our being a hunting-party, too far from home to get back to our dinners. If you have never been a great deal more than half-starved you can form no idea how marvelously good that feast was that day. I felt more or less gloomy about it at the time, keeping it to myself, though. But the shadow of the danger hanging over us did not seem to affect the other boys, who were exceedingly merry. And after dinner we all went to sleep for an hour or so.
Before sundown that same afternoon our lives were imperiled in what seemed to me at the time a most wanton manner. Cook had brought with him an old-fashioned, one-barrel horse pistol, once carried by General Washington. Cook got possession of it, when he and Stevens made Colonel Lewis Washington prisoner at Harper's Ferry. Well, Cook took this old pistol and strolled off, shooting it around in the neighborhood. This enraged Tidd, who ordered him peremptorily to stop. Cook said he knew what he was doing and would not take orders from him; "I am carrying out the story of our being hunters," Cook said. The quarrel was going on loudly and angrily. They were fast coming to blows and to pistol shots, when I rushed between them. Coppoc assisted me. Merriam lay quietly on the ground. It was not easy work to separate Cook and Tidd, but we finally got them still. They were both fearless men, and had faced many a gun; they agreed to have it out when they could do it without endangering others. There is really no knowing whether one or both of them would not have been killed in this feud, it it had not been for the events of the succeeding day.
In the course of that night we came to a wide creek which we had to ford. Cook's boots came off so hard that I offered to carry him across, if he would cling to my boots and luggage. His weight, the two bundles, four guns, revolvers, and ammunition, upon by bare feet on the sharp stones were unendurable. I told Cook I must drop him, and drop him I did, about two thirds of the way across. He got wet, but kept the guns and ammunition dry. We crossed two valleys and a mountain and got into the woods of another mountain before day. I was especially anxious to get as far as possible from the place where Cook had bought provisions. The forest now seemed so extensive that, after resting a while, we thought it safe to go on by daylight; and we traveled on in what we considered the direction of Chambersburg till the middle of the afternoon, seeing no traces of inhabitants. All day long, whenever Cook and I would get a little in advance of the others he talked to me about his quarrel with Tidd, making threats against him. His anger seemed to increase rather than decrease. He talked also a great deal about the prospective meeting with his wife and boy in Chambersburg. I remember as if it were yesterday, I told him his imprudence would be so great that he would never see his wife and child again.
We stopped at a clear spring that afternoon, and ate the last of the provisions bought the day before. Then the boys said it would be a good time to go and get a new supply. More earnestly than ever I tried to dissuade them, but to no purpose. They outnumbered me. Coppoc wanted to go this time. I said, since they were determined that somebody must go, Cook was the man most fitted for the mission, and I gave him money, and the same red silk handkerchief. He left everything but one revolver, and took his leave of us, as nearly as we could judge, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon. As I have told you before, we had no time-piece in the party. I don't know whether it was before or after this, that we lost all reckoning of the days of the week. That will be my excuse if I have got them wrong in this narrative, and that, too, will give you some idea how bewildering fatigue is, and hunger, and a couple of States on the lookout for you, eager for your blood. Cook hadn't been gone long when two ravens flew over our heads, creaking dismally. You may think it queer, but it struck every one of us as a bad omen. We waited till dusk, but Cook did not return; we waited till dark and starlight, still he did not come; we waited till nine o'clock, till midnight, and still he did not come. He might have got lost, we thought; and we lingered about, calling and watching for him till at least two o'clock in the morning. Cook never came.
We knew nothing of his fate till more than a week afterwards, when, as I shall tell you farther on, we got hold of a newspaper one night at a Pennsylvania farm-house, and read of his capture. I have heard since, that, going along in a clearing, he came upon two men chopping wood, and told his hunting-party story to them, asking where to buy food. They appeared very friendly, offering to go and show the way; and they walked along talking socially, one on each side of him. The report says - but I do not believe it - that Cook told them who he was. At a given signal they rushed upon him, seizing him by the arms. They must have taken some such advantage of him, for if he had had half a chance, he would have killed them both. He was, as I have told you, I think, already, the quickest and best shot with a pistol that I ever saw. Anyhow, poor Cook was taken that night to the Chambersburg jail, fifteen miles away. We knew we were about fifteen miles from Chambersburg, because Tidd had gone - very recklessly and without consulting us - down to the road that afternoon, and asked a man who happened to be passing. The nearest village, the man said, if my bad memory of names does not deceive me, was called the Old Forge. The name of one of Cook's captors I have forgotten, - the name of the other was Hughes. They got the heavy reward offered for him, and drank it up in bad whisky, as I have heard, and were both killed in the rebel army.
Daring to wait no longer for Cook, we made a bold push for the road. It was a little odd, and I hope it was in relenting, but Tidd, his mortal enemy, took most of the thing left by Cook; we all took some. This belt here, now, to carry a Sharpe's rifle in - that was Cook's. By the way, there hangs the coat I escaped in. Do I keep it here in this shanty as a relic? Oh, no; I wear it sometimes yet. The fact is, I have always been very saving ever since that hungry trip. From that day to this, I have never seen the least morsel of any kind of food wasted without pain. I shall never get over that, I suppose.
Well, we risked traveling for a while on the public road, to see if we might in some way find Cook. It was quite a while before we reached the village which I have mentioned, doubtfully, as Old Forge. We walked straight through it, whatever its correct name, taking the middle of the street. Only a few lights were burning. We saw one in the bar-room and one in the barn of the tavern. We thought we heard voices, too, in the barn as we passed. A half mile or more beyond the village, we struck through a corn-field, helping ourselves to the dry, hard corn, to which we were again reduced. My purpose was just to touch upon the outskirts of Chambersburg. I didn't approve of going there at all, you understand, but the others insisted upon it. They wanted to go to the house of a Mrs. Ritner, a kind-hearted widow lad, whose husband, a son of ex-Governor Ritner of Pennsylvania, had been a conductor on the underground railroad, as well as upon a real railroad. All of us had been at Mrs. Ritner's before. Father had boarded there, and so had Kagi, who was killed, as you know, fighting so splendidly at Harper's Ferry. I consented to go to Chambersburg also, because I did not know but Cook might meet us at either of two hiding-places on a stream; one a half mile, and the other a mile from the town. I had told him about them. I had discovered them, conducting to Harper's Ferry recruits who had been slaves once and were going back again into danger to help liberate their friends and relatives. Shields Green, who was hanged, was one of these.
Just across the corn-field before mentioned, we came upon a wide public highway, evidently leading to Chambersburg. Here Coppoc and Tidd astonished Merriam and myself by announcing that they would have to leave us. They said Merriam, in his weak state, could not get into Chambersburg before daylight; it was at least fifteen miles away. They knew that I had pledged myself never to leave Merriam behind. And so, leaving a gun or two extra for us to carry, and promising to meet us the next night at one of the hiding-places beyond Chambersburg, they started off, on the public highway, as fast as they could walk.
It was a wild, desperate thing for them to do. Weak and worn as Merriam was, he saw as well as I did that they were exposing us as much as they were exposing themselves. Two could make little resistance in case of attack; and, we argued, our safety depended upon keeping up with them, and preventing the, if possible, from running more foolish risks. So, picking up the guns they had left, we started after them, in the belief that it was a walk for life, and I have no doubt it was. On we went, unchallenged, through toll-gates and past farm-houses. For the whole fifteen miles, Tidd and Coppoc never got over six rods ahead of us. During the race, some time before daylight, Coppoc left his things with Tidd, walked up to a house, waked the inmates, and asked the way to Chambersburg! He felt pretty sure, he said afterwards, that this road led there, but he was not certain whether we were going towards or away from the town. Tidd was sitting in a fence-corner waiting for him as Merriam and I came up. I charged Tidd hurriedly, if at any time on the road he and Coppoc saw anybody, to conceal themselves; if halted, or in any way shown that arrest was meant, we should be ready to make a desperate fight; if merely spoken to they should let me answer for them. I had hardly said this, and Coppoc had not yet come out to us from the house, when a man came riding along the road. He had a fine horse, and looked like an officer of some kind. In the light of what I have since heard, I think he was. It is strange how we all felt like killing that man. We had been chased and hunted, and had lived like wild beasts so long that we felt blood-thirsty. We never knew for certain if he saw us. He did not at least think it prudent to speak, and rode on out of sight.
Coppoc came out to us, and we rushed on - in the direction we had been taking all the time. As we drew nearer and nearer Chambersburg, I told the boys, as I had told them before, that it was not fair to expose Mrs. Ritner. She had probably disavowed any knowledge of us, and it would be very easy to get her into trouble, without benefiting ourselves; but they would go. In the outskirts of Chambersburg, finally, we stopped by a house on the corner of the street which led to Mrs. Ritner's. Merriam, who had over-exerted himself, dropped down in the middle of this street, and lay with his luggage for a pillow. It was just before the break of day. As Tidd and Coppoc left us, I charged them, with all the earnestness I had, to come right back if they got no answer, and especially to make no alarm. The knocked at the door, but received no reply. Then Tidd went down into the garden and got a bean-pole and thumped on the second-story window. Mrs. Ritner put her arm out of the window and motioned him away. At which he said, "Mrs. Ritner, don't you know me? I am Tidd."
"Leave, leave!" came back in a frightened whisper.
"But we are hungry," insisted Tidd.
"I couldn't help you if you were starving," she whispered back again. "Leave; the house is guarded by armed men!"
Tidd dropped his bean-pole, and the two came back to where we were lying in the street. It has always seemed to me next to a miracle that they were ever allowed to get away from that house. They were pretty well frightened and utterly discouraged. "What shall we do? What shall we do?" they asked in despair. Merriam, stretched motionless on the ground, said nothing. "I will tell you what to do," I said, picking up my bundle; "but you'll follow me this time!"
We could just see the first streaks of daylight. Telling Merriam to come on, we started. After we had gone some distance I turned to look for Merriam, but he was nowhere to be seen. I went back to the street-corner and found him still lying in the road. I jerked him up, and told him his life depended upon his walking a half mile or at most a mile farther to a hiding-place. Poor fellow! he must have been fast sleep. I never got a chance, I believe, to ask him; events were so hurried and exciting after that. We went out a suburban street till we came to a railroad which we followed as long as it went in the direction I wanted to take. Before we reached the thicket I intended to hide in, it became too light for safety. We would certainly have been caught, if it hadn't been for a cold mist that hung low upon the land after daylight. We went of course to the nearest hiding-place, a partially wooded field in the outskirts of the town. The falling of the leaves had made it much more dangerous than I had expected to find it. I had seen the place before in summer. We finally found a patch of briers in the middle of the field, and crawling into it, made our bed there. We could have been easily surrounded, as you see: so here almost all day long we did not dare even to sit up; and, notwithstanding the extraordinary fatigue of the night before, we had not time, even if we had thought it safe, to sleep. A railroad ran by one side of the field, and we could distinctly see the trains pass during the day. Our field was bounded on the other sides by traveled roads and the suburban streets of Chambersburg. It was a cold, frosty morning, but I had no difficulty in making the boys lie still. Indeed, ever after that, they oddly enough were always cautioning me to be prudent. A little before noon we heard martial music steadily approaching us, - not at all a pleasant sound under the circumstances. Then after a while it stopped; and, in perhaps five or ten minutes more, a train went shooting by on the neighboring railroad. The martial music then started up again at what we supposed afterwards to be the railway station, and gradually marched out of hearing. It was, as I have since heard, the escort that took poor Cook from the jail to the depot: and the train we saw was the one that bore him away to Charlestown, and, as you know, to death.
We of course were not aware of this at the time. We had some expectation, as I told you, that Cook might try to join us at this hiding-place; and when, shortly afterwards, a man appeared in our field, we at first took him for Cook. The man in question soon made for the edge of the timber, and began firing a gun. We thought that a bold signal, but were really astonished at nothing from Cook. So we raised ourselves as nearly to our feet as we dared, in order to watch his movements. He was aiming his gun at the tree-tops, evidently at squirrels, and coming around to where we got a better view of him, we decided it was not Cook.
A cold rain, with snow and sleet, set in about noon. This was no doubt a greater protection to us than the briers, - so near to a populous town as we were. There were three or four yokes of oxen running loose in the field. An ox came browsing near our thicket, and by his disturbed manner called the attention of the whole drove to us. They would stare at us, then start off and come back in a way that would give warning of something wrong to any one knowing oxen. We dared not move, or speak to them; and oxen and dogs know as quickly as anybody when people are acting strangely. At last, to our infinite relief, they seemed to have settled the matter among themselves, or at least satisfied their curiosity, for they went away of their own accord. While we were lying there we had determined that in the exhausted condition of Merriam, it would be best to run the risk of sending him on by rail. Extended on my back, I mended his overcoat, which had been torn, in our mountain travel, to a state of what I considered suspicious shabbiness. Being a bachelor, you know, I had a pair of scissors with my needles and thread; and so when the tempest got worse, and it was safe to sit up a little, I clipped off his beard as close as I could shingle it. What was especially fortunate for Merriam just then was the fact that he wore a glass eye; and this glass eye fitted him so well that he could turn it, or at least seemed to turn it nearly as well as he did the other one. That and his beard gone, Merriam was pretty thoroughly disguised. We discussed Merriam's leaving, more or less, all day long. Coppoc wanted to go with him. I whispered myself hoarse, trying to convince him that he ought not to go. I was glad when, in the afternoon, a high wind arose as an accompaniment to the storm, and we dared speak aloud. We shivered with the rain and sleet as we argued. I told Coppoc he would excite suspicion if he went with Merriam. "We need you with us," I said, "and you need yourself with us, - for defense, and especially to keep warm nights. We have lost too many already; we shall freeze if we lose any more now. When it is safe, you shall be the next to go." Merriam, poor fellow, was so weak and worn that there was not much warmth in him. He was, you understand, no use in bed or out of it, and besides, he couldn't have walked any farther anyhow. The snow and sleet stopped for a while as we were still arguing, and as I turned over on my elbow and looked at Coppoc, I could see that great tears had fallen and hung quivering on his waistcoat. He was thinking, perhaps, of his Quaker home in Iowa, and of his widowed mother there; perhaps of his brother whom he supposed killed; or maybe, he was in utter despair. I never knew; I never asked him. None of us spoke for a long time.. The wind blew more violently than ever, and the rain and sleet came down again, and washed away the traces of the man's weakness, - if it was weakness.
Towards night a boy came riding a horse into our field, evidently in search of something. He rode clear around our brier-patch, passing within sixteen feet of us. As I lay on my back, I turned my head just enough to keep my eye on him. He was not over ten years old. Suddenly his face brightened, and he began hallooing at the oxen, of which I suppose he had just caught sight. He had come after them, it seems; and getting them all together he took them and himself from the field. I did not think the boy saw us. Some of the other thought he did; and so we had added to the fatigues and dangers of the day, the uncertainty whether he had not gone to give the alarm to Chambersburg.
It was my plan now to keep on still in a northwesterly direction, which would take me, I felt pretty sure, toward Meadville and some old friends in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. If it were not safe there, that was also in the direction of Ashtabula County, Ohio, where brother John was; and that, if unsafe, was as good a way as any toward Canada. We thought best to leave in this brier-patch all of Merriam's arms except a pistol and such ammunition as he could conceal and carry with him by railroad. We three, who were to continue the journey afoot, left also, in the same place, three Sharpe's carbines, three heavy full cartridge-boxes fitted with belts, and everything in the way of arms, in fact, except our navy revolvers and one heavy gun each. Merriam had furnished a good deal of money to the cause. He would take only five dollars from me when making his preparations to part with us. He said he had money enough to get through with. A driving snow set in that night, and it was as dark as I ever saw it in my life. We could see almost nothing at all. We started together for the road bordering the side of the field opposite the railway. In this road Tidd and Coppoc bade Merriam good-by and God-speed. Leaving them in a fence-corner, I took Merriam by the hand - it was so dark and he was so feeble - and led him to the railroad. Then I walked a little way on the track with him, so that he would be sure to take the direction away from Chambersburg, and reach the first station outside of that town before taking a train. Our plan was that he should thereafter go north as directly as he could. So I left him on the track - I will not tell you of the affecting leave-taking - and found my way back to Tidd and Coppoc, through the darkness and blinding snow-storm. Perhaps you would like to know that Merriam got safely back to his friends. The next I heard of him was some years afterward, out in the far West on the plains, with a hunting-party. He returned, and was one morning found dead in his bed in New York.
Tidd, Coppoc, and I, leaving the public road, now started across the country. The first creek or mill-race in our way we got over well enough, for we trusted ourselves to a regular ford. After a while, however, we came to a creek swollen by the recent rain till it was at least five rods across. There was nothing to do but wade it. Somehow we could see the stream much plainer than we could the snow on its banks. The water was very swift. We got in up to our hips. When I reached the other side, I could not feel my bare feet on the snow, they were so numb. Getting up the steep bank we were greeted by the boisterous barking of a dog. A road passed along this bank with a farm-house on one side of it and a barn on the other. We went right on, following this road till it forked, and then taking the left hand, which we thought our direction. It was so very dark that of course we were not sure, and so, after going about a mile on this left-hand road, we decided to return to the barn and seek shelter in defiance of the dog. We made our bed in a shed at the end of the barn nearest to the road. The dog got tired of barking when he found we paid no attention to him, and sought shelter too. We heard some chickens in the barn. I went in there and climbed all around, but it was so dark I could not get them. They sounded as if they would taste well. Even hard corn had been scarce with us lately; and we should not have waited to cook them. We slept two or three hours in the shed - slept beautifully, our blankets and ourselves steaming with the wet and warmth. Then it stopped snowing and the stars came out. The same left-hand road we had turned back from we found to be the right one, when we resumed our way. We walked on briskly in a northwest direction, passed a house with a larger and even more boisterous dog, and kept up our speed for the rest of the night. We could see the black line of the mountains in the distance, and sw, too, that we could not reach them before daylight. The snow was two or three inches deep. We could readily be tracked, and should be obliged to stay all day in the midst of a thickly-inhabited country, where we could be easily surrounded. Finally, just before sunrise, we passed a farm-house and followed a series of gullies about a mile, till we found a brier-patch, in the midst of which we spread our blankets, and cut other briers to cover ourselves with, and went to sleep.
About noon that day the sun came out, melting the snow and waking us. Cows and sheep passed us occasionally. After a while a boy came along, leading a dog. It was very lucky for us that the boy was leading him, for the dog got scent of us, and tugged at his rope to get to us. Jerking him along, the boy cursed the animal for his stupidity in wanting to hang himself. He probably came much nearer hanging us, as we thought at the time. In the open country that way, with such enormous rewards upon our heads, our lives, you understand, may be said to have hung on that dog's cord. About dusk two pigs came wandering near us, and I sallied stealthily forth, hoping to catch and smother one of them. I tried for as much as an hour, and failed. It was an imprudent thing to do, I know, but I was very hungry and the pigs were very fat. So I stole up into a neighboring field and gathered what had become our somewhat irregular rations of dry, hard corn. Then we lay still in our brier-patch till night. It was very dark, but I could see the dull line of the mountains in the distance, and we made for them with all possible speed and directness. Within a few miles of the mountains we brought up on a road leading straight towards them. Risking ourselves upon the highway, we after awhile came to one of those Pennsylvania barns, which we were sure was red without being able or needing to see the color. I went groping clear around this barn twice before I found the door, at which Tidd and Coppoc then stood guard while I went in to search for chickens. I caught an old Jersey Blue hen and a rooster, and wrung their necks without allowing them to make any noise. Putting them into the provision bag, - the one that is under the bed there now, - we hurried on. Suddenly we came upon a village. Tidd and Coppoc were in advance, and I was trying to catch up with them, when right in the heart of the village I met three or four men. I had got past them, when whisk! away went my hat in the wind, and I had to run back with my bag of poultry, to pick it up. These men were so absorbed in talking about the "powerful exhortation" of Brother Somebody, that they did not take much notice of me. I suppose they had been at some prayer-meeting. It might have been Sunday night, too. Catching up with Tidd and Coppoc, I remonstrated with them upon the danger of separating so, in such a place.
On the mountain, at last, we came upon a gorge, where we built a fire and went to dressing our hen and rooster. As soon as Tidd had picked the leg of the hen, he cut it off and began roasting it. It was nowhere near done when he began upon it, crunching the bones, and swallowing everything. After we had had a taste none of us could wait for the old hen to cook. We ate her almost raw. Tidd, burning the bones, ate them , too. Putting the dressed rooster into the bag and burning the feathers, we started farther up the mountain to a good hiding-place. It was a very thickly settled country. Men and teams passed not very far from us during the day. The next night, as we were crossing a pleasant valley, we heard voices along the road on which we had ventured. We hastily crouched in the shadow of a fence-corner, and there walked by, in the bright moonlight, two pairs of young people, with locked arms and leaning affectionately on each other. We could see their faces as well as hear what they said when they passed. Each couple was far enough from the other to speak confidentially. They were evidently returning from some late country merry-making.
This same night we surprised an apple-orchard and helped ourselves plentifully, and filled our provision bag. Not till the second or third night after eating the hen did we dare build a fire to cook the rooster. It was a pleasant spot where we roasted him; beside a spring in a little hollow surrounded by beech and hemlock, the mountain-top towering just above us, and bristling against the sky with pitch-pine. We had salt! Tidd, besides eating perhaps too many apples, also ate the burned bones of the rooster. A night or so afterwards, I had the luck to catch four or five chickens in a barn. These of course went better, when we got a chance to cook them. That was not till we came to a little shanty in a wild place on the mountain-top. It had been built, we could see, by people who had been there to peel hemlock bark for tanning. We came to this shanty just before daylight one rainy morning. It was a mere hut of logs, covered with bark. Some stones were laid up in a corner for a fire-place. The bare earth was the floor. We knew that the bark-peelers work in the spring, and so we felt comparatively safe and happy, - all but Tidd, who had been complaining ever since he ate so many hen and rooster bones. We built a comfortable fire in the hut, and cooked a couple of spring chickens, and ate what apples we had left. It was the first house we had been in for many a day and many a night; it seemed several weeks, - I shall not attempt to tell you how many it really was, for I should make some mistake. Coppoc and I slept splendidly as the rain poured down on our bark-roof. Waking up in the afternoon we found Tidd still complaining. Coppoc and I, wandering out on the mountain saw a flock of wild turkeys, but could not get a shot at them. When we reached the hut again we found Tidd groaning and unable to go on that night. I left Coppoc to nurse him, and after dark went down the mountain for more provisions. About three miles away, I discovered an orchard, and filled my bag with apples, climbed back again, and found Tidd pretty sick. We did not any of us sleep much that night, for watching and taking care of him. It was almost providential that we had a roof and a fire for the poor fellow, or he might never have recovered. It rained the next day, and we stayed at the hut with Tidd, who began to get better. Late the next night he felt able to travel, and we started. Our course to the northwest, now, and till we left the mountains altogether, took us from one range to another, instead of along the tops and sides, making our work much slower and more tedious. Still, by way of compensation we helped ourselves pretty freely to the chickens and apples of the wealthy Pennsylvanians as we passed; occasionally milking their cows for them, too. One night I got hold of a guinea-fowl, and she made an infernal noise; but we cooked her, nevertheless, in the neighboring mountains. Once an old cow would not stand to be milked, and I went after some corn to persuade her. The granary was within a few feet of the house where the people were sleeping; I could not reach the grain from the outside of the granary, and so I had the temerity to open the door and climb in, and fill my pockets with corn. The cow yielded now, and we milked her dry. One night a red fox came around our bed and barked at us, in the way foxes have, circling off and coming back six or eight times. It might have been dangerous for him, if he had been good to eat; as it was, he finally disappeared, unharmed.
We ventured after a while to travel in the public roads by night. This had become our regular practice, when I had that terrible sick headache. It is strange that none of us seemed to have any ailments, on dry hard corn, - except a little dizziness from being so weak; but as soon as we got the luxuries of chickens and guinea-fowl, apples, and salt, this sort of trouble commenced. It was about midnight when I crawled up into the woods, and lay down, telling the boys I could go no farther. I slept one or two hours, got up perfectly well, and walked on with the others. I never cured a sick headache so easily before or since.
We did not know where we were, except that we were somewhere in the State of Pennsylvania, and we at last thought we would risk the roads by daylight. So one sunny morning, beside a clear spring, we made our toilets for that purpose, putting on clear shirts and mending our clothes. I cut both of the other boys' hair. We rolled our shoulder-straps and ammunition into our blankets, and drew our woolen covers over our guns, and started. Our first encounter was with a man on horseback, riding the same way we were going. He looked suspiciously at us, we were so gaunt, besides carrying guns. We talked him out of his suspicion, however, and into so friendly a mood that one of us, I think it was Coppoc, rode his horse as much as a mile for him, while the stranger walked along with us. I had heard there were Quakers at a place called Bellefonte, and I hoped we might be somewhere near there. Quakers, you know, were always our friends, being great antislavery people. I thought one or more of us might hire out to some Quaker, assuming a name or names, till the heat of the pursuit was over. The man told us that Bellefonte was a good way on, he didn't know how far. We were, he assured us, about ten miles from the Juniata River. We were aching to ask about Harper's Ferry, but dared not, and finally our informant mounting his horse, turned up a lane and disappeared.
We shortly afterward went into an orchard in plain daylight and helped ourselves to some apples, - a feat which was though nothing of in that country of abundance. Then we resumed our journey to the Juniata. We bought some doughnuts of the woman who ferried us over that river, and some bread and butter. We now took our way along the tow-path of the canal, which we came to on the other side of the stream. We kept on till long after dark, when a canal-boat overtaking us, we asked the captain where he was going. He said to some falls, - Hamilton Falls, I think, - about seven miles away, and invited us on board. We got into the place where the hay for the horses was kept, and had a comfortable bed, the captain joining us there in a friendly way, and eating most of our apples for us. He refused to take money for our ride, and we left him at the town (whatever its name was), before daylight, so that he never knew how shabby and haggard we were.
We walked on six or seven miles upon the main road toward Bellefonte, and then camped away from the highway, near an old farm-house, occupied only by a couple of horses. We stayed there till about dark the next night, and starting upon the public road again, we had gone hardly a mile when we saw a nice little farm-house on our left, a short distance from the road. The light of the blaze in the old-fashioned fire-place came out through the curtainless window with so cheery an invitation to us, that we could not go by. We knocked at the door and obtained permission of the honest, simple-minded farmer to stay all night. The stout, Pennsylvanian woman, the farmer's wife, when we were seated, gave the logs in the fireplace a vigorous punch, which sent the sparks up the chimney in the glad way you have seen them, I suppose, before now; and it was not long till the fumes of frying flap-jacks went up after them. If she had not been so good-natured, her suspicions might have been aroused by the ravenous appetites with which we devoured what she put before us, when she bade us be seated at supper. Towards the close of that meal, the farmer in a casual sort of way mentioned Harper's Ferry, and then we asked him for news. We had already in some indirect manner learned from our host that it was the 4th of November. Thus we had been about three weeks in our houseless wanderings, without positive knowledge of the fate of our comrades, - it seemed at least six weeks; and I can never get over a queer impression that it was longer than it really was. We told our host that we had heard something about the fight at Harper's Ferry, but not all the particulars. This surprised him greatly, for he said the country had not been so excited about anything in twenty years. He added that his weekly newspaper had just come that afternoon, and we could read it. Perhaps you can have an idea how painful was the suspense, waiting till we could decently rise from the table and lay hands upon that paper. Tidd's stoicism broke down first; he arose and caught up the paper and began reading aloud. The first thing that caught his eye was the account of Cook's capture. You can imagine how eagerly Coppoc and I listened to the first we had heard of Cook since he had left us in the mountains. Our host interrupted the reading to assure me that one son of old Smith, who had proved to be old Brown of Kansas, had escaped with Cook and others, and was supposed to be still at large somewhere. Old man Brown was not dead, as we had heard. No, he was just severely wounded; it was not certain yet whether he would live to be hanged, for he had been tried and found guilty. To me, who had so long thought my father dead, this somehow had the effect of good news. In the mean time, Tidd had gone on, silently devouring the paper. I could see that he was much moved by what he read. He was probably reading how his friend Stevens was shot down while going on an errand of mercy and bearing a flag of truce. Coppoc sat gazing thoughtfully into the blaze of the great fire-place, and I happened to be looking at him when our host went on to say that the very latest news was that the man Coppoc had been tried, too, and found guilty. That was his brother Edwin, and the ruddy glare of the fire did not paint out the deathly white of our poor Coppoc's face. He did not speak, but a little while after, he stealthily brushed away a tear from one of his cheeks, and sighed in a half-choked way.
Somehow my two brothers, Watson and Oliver, had not been mentioned. It might have been a presentiment - I don't know what it was - I did not have the heart to ask about them. After a few moments of silence, Tidd handed the newspaper to me. I began reading aloud for Coppoc's benefit. I saw my own name in large letters somewhere near the middle of the page, and I began on that. Before I was fully aware what I was doing, I was half-way through a minute description of myself. Then I dared now stop. Finishing that paragraph with the extravagant rewards offered for my capture, I turned and read from the beginning the account of the fight - how the little band had taken the town and held it all day against the States of Virginia and Maryland. But when I came to read the well-known passage from Governor Wise's speech: "And Colonel Washington said that he - Brown - was the coolest man he ever saw in defying death and danger. With one son dead by his side, and another shot through, he felt the pulse of his dying son with one hand and held his rifle with the other, and commanded his men with the utmost composure, encouraging them to be firm and sell their lives as dearly as possible" = well, that told me too much; my voice trembled so that I passed the paper to Coppoc. He read how our relative, Thompson, was butchered when a prisoner, and how my brother Watson was shot while carrying a flag of truce, and, though mortally wounded, fought till the gun fell from his hands. The farmer's wife, detecting the tremor in my voice, - with the quick sympathy that women have, - paused in her domestic work until the reading was over, though, as she said, she had read it all before. The 4th of November is my birthday, and certainly that was the most memorable one of my life.
We sat by the fire and talked of the dead and wounded as long as we dared, and then went to bed. After breakfast the next morning, having paid our host, we asked him the direction to Bellefonte, and for Quaker families along the road. He told us of a Quaker by the name of Benjamin Wakefield, who lived some twenty miles off, not in the direction of Bellefonte, but, as I surmised, more nearly in the line of Townville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, where I had an old schoolmate. I resolved, without, of course, telling our host, that we would go to Wakefield's. We had before this determined what names we should assume; mine was Edward Clark; Tidd's was Charles Plummer; Coppoc's was George Barclay. It was a bright, cheerful day, and we walked on by the road through a village, where I let Tidd go into a store and buy a pocket map. Neither he nor Coppoc had been seen much about Harper's Ferry, so they were not described, as I was. With the people we met or who overtook us during the day, we talked freely, telling them we were wood-choppers looking for work. When they offered us a job, we couldn't agree about wages, or made some such difficulty. Our guns, however, were always against us, attracting too much notice. When Harper's Ferry became the subject of our talk with strangers, we never of course seemed to know any more than what we had read in the paper.
This was, if I am not mistaken, Saturday, and about sundown we came to a private lane leading, as we were told, from the public road up to Mr. Wakefield's. We though best to have Tidd go ahead to the house. He found Mr. Wakefield and his son loading wheat. He told the benevolent-faced on gentleman that we had heard of him as a kind; neighborly man, and that he and two more friends would like to put up with him for the night. "Thee and thy friends may come," said the Quaker. But when we appeared with our guns, he held up his hands in awe, and told us we could not bring our guns into his house. It may have been contrary to his church rules, I don't know; but we argued the case a while and then hit upon the lucky compromise that we should take the loads out of the guns. We had hardly got inside the house, however, when he startled us by saying, in his calm way, that he knew who we were, - we were from Harper's Ferry. We asked him how he knew that. He said we were so gaunt. He knew we were hunted like wild beasts, and that fact and our cause were a short cut to his heart. We found the house a nice, cleanly one, and the two trim daughters who were the housekeepers (the mother I think was dead) soon got us a splendid supper. While that was preparing we went out and help load the wheat. After supper we talked long about slavery and the struggles and losses of our family in Kansas. He made us stay over the next day - Sunday, if my impression is right - with him, but told us to keep ourselves out of sight. We said that we had better travel for a while again only by night. He knew that we were hotly pursued. He stocked us with provisions enough to last two or three days, and would take no money for them or our entertainment. He showed us our way on the pocket-map, - this one here open before me now. We were to go about forty miles to a cousin of his, a Quaker living a mile out of a place called, I think, Half-Moon.
We parted with our good host on Sunday night, and traveled on two or three nights slowly as usual and as far as possible from the highway. Having eaten all our provisions we took to apples and corn again. Venturing once more upon the road, our guns excited so much suspicion that we were forced back into the woods and hills. Making a descent upon a hen-roost, we were pretty nearly betrayed by the squawking of our prey. Finally, late one night we approached what we knew to be the village indicated by Wakefield, as being near his cousin's. We had the good fortune to meet a man just outside the little town, and he showed us our way to the Quaker's. We walked boldly through the village out to the farm-house, and aroused the inmates. I have forgotten this Quaker's name, I am sorry to say. We told him as he leaned out of a window that Mr. Wakefield had sent us to him, and he seemed disposed to let us in; but at this stage of the interview another window, apparently in the same second-story room, opened and three night-capped heads were thrust out. No, we couldn't come in, any such thing, they cried in chorus. They knew who we were; we were traitors; and our lives were forfeit. We said that we had merely risked our lives for the freedom of millions of helpless slaves. They replied that they were not in favor of slavery, themselves, but they were also not in favor of putting it down by force. And there we had it with the night-caps. The man was on our side, but when he said anything in our favor it seemed to go worse with us than ever. His arguments excited more fury in the night-caps than ours did. We offered to pay them twice any sum they would ask. What was money to them when we were traitors and carried wicked guns, besides? We offered to give them up our guns. At this the voice of what I took to be the old lady said, "Oh," and one night-cap disappeared; it might have been in terror, it might have been in consenting. Then the two younger voices said, "Well, father, if you want to take in murderers, you may, but don't ask us to wait on them!" and the two other night-caps disappeared, and the windows both went down. It seems an amusing scene to you, yet it was pretty serious to us; and we stood there wondering what was to be our fate with three female tongues ready to betray us, and the man of the house not daring to take us in - when the door opened and the Quaker told us we might enter. He showed us promptly to beds.
At breakfast the next morning, the mother and her two daughters would not eat with us. The man would not take any money for his entertainment. So we all went out into his field with him, and fell to husking corn. At dinner-time the women folks seemed to be somewhat mollified, and we prevailed upon them to take some curious silver coins we had. Tidd and Coppoc went back to work in the field in the afternoon, while I went into the village and made my preparations for getting rid of our guns, and of sending Coppoc home by stage and railroad. I bought a carpet-bag for each of us. Here's mine, now. I went to two or three shoe-shops before I could get a box that would do to store our guns, cartridge-boxes, and all the little things once Cook's, which we wanted to preserve. Returning to the Quaker's with the box on my shoulder, I proceeded to pack it. I put in these bags, with the rest, and the pistol formerly carried by General Washington, the one that Cook had, as I told you before. By the way, Colonel Washington next year wrote to Thaddeus Hyatt, I think, pleading for that ancestral relic. We sent it to him, asking for some things of ours, but we never got them.
Well, our box was shipped by stage and rail with Coppoc for Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio. The next morning Coppoc very joyfully took the stage and arrived safely at his old home among the friendly Quakers. In the fall of 1861, he enlisted a squad of men to join the company of W. R. Allen of Jefferson, Ashtabula County, for Lane's Brigade in Kansas. While on the way with his men, and while passing over the railroad between Hannibal and St. Joseph, Missouri, he was killed by the falling of a part of the train through a bridge, the timbers of which had been nearly sawed in two at night by the bushwhacking rebels of Missouri.
The Quaker women were still more friendly at supper-time, and got up quite a sympathy with treason before we parted. The Quaker himself yet persisted in taking no money from us. Tidd and I started afoot with our carpet-bags, the same morning on which Coppoc took the stage. We kept away from railways and telegraphs as much as possible, traveling right through towns and stopping at farm houses, lest I should be recognized by my description. We still pretended to be wood-choppers, looking for work. We each had a good navy revolver with cartridges, and were resolved not to be taken alive. This here now is the one I had. I carried it in Kansas. Our plan was to go directly to my old friend's at Townville. That too was about as straight a way as any to Ashtabula County, Ohio, where my brother John was. We went by daylight, averaging twenty-five miles a day, although it rained or snowed most of the time. At Brookville, I remember, Tidd wrote a letter and I mailed it to some of his people. It was some time after this that father, in Charlestown jail, heard of my safety, and sent me money and that opera-glass there.
Passing through Clarion and Shippensville, we came after a while to Franklin, the present centre of the coal-oil region. We stopped at a country tavern in the outskirts of the town. The oil business was just begun at that time. From Franklin we went up Sugar Creek to Randolph, where we stayed a day or so with old Mr. Gilbert, who helped my father build his first tannery in Richmond, Pennsylvania. One afternoon we walked over to Townville, and into the store of Mr. George B. Delamater, the old friend I have told you of. Mr. Delamater was not in, but his partner, Mr. Orange Noble, now of Erie, Pennsylvania, whom I had never seen before, took me aside and told me who I was, recognizing me from descriptions he had seen. He whispered to me that I might feel perfectly safe; and when Delamater came in he knew me, although we had not met in twenty-five or thirty years. He took us both home, and under assumed names we went to work. Tidd, in the course of a week, was sent somewhere down on Oil Creek, where he stayed a long time. It is strange that the poor fellow should have lived through so much, to die with fever at last in the war of the Rebellion. I stayed at Townville several weeks, till suspicious persons came about looking for me, and then began a series of flights from one place to another, for myself and brothers John and Jason. Jason lived at Akron, Ohio. I went to Oil Creek, thence to Elk Creek, and finally to Ashtabula County, Ohio, for none of us for months dared stay very long in one place.
On the 4th of July, 1860, the first one, you know, after father's death, all of our family, and all of father's company, then living, - except Tidd, who was still in the oil regions, - came together at North Elba, New York. Through the instrumentality of Miss Kate Field, and the liberality of herself and others, the North Elba farm has been bought and given to our family; to no one individual member, you understand, but to all of us, as the place where father's body is buried. That 4th of July was the last time that our family has ever been together. John and I have been here on this island for some years. My step-mother, with my half-brother Salmon, and three half-sisters - one of them married - lives at Akron, Ohio; and my sister Ruth, married to Henry Thompson, lives in Wisconsin. Thus, you see, there are still eight of us children. Father's was the last death in the family. We would all of us, probably, have been long-lived if we had only been allowed to live, - that is, if we hadn't been murdered in Kansas, and shot and hanged in Virginia.
Source: Copy in John Brown Pamphlets, Vol. 3, Boyd B. Stutler Collection, West Virginia State Archives