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John Brown to John Brown Jr.

CHAMBERSBURG, PA., August, 1859.

DEAR FRIEND, - I forgot to say yesterday that your shipments of freight are received all in apparent safety; but the bills are very high, and I begin to be apprehensive of getting into a tight spot for want of a little more funds, notwithstanding my anxiety to make my money hold out. As it will cost no more expense for you to solicit for me a little more assistance while attending to your other business, say two or three hundred dollars in New York, - drafts payable to the order of I. Smith & Sons, - will you not sound my Eastern or Western friends in regard to it? It was impossible for me to foresee the exact amount I should be obliged to pay out for everything. Now that arrangements are so nearly completed, I begin to feel almost certain that I can squeeze through with that amount. All my accounts are squared up to the present time; but how I can keep my little wheels in motion for a few days more I am beginning to feel at a loss. It is terribly humiliating to me to begin soliciting of friends again; but as the harvest opens before me with increasing encouragements, I may not allow a feeling of delicacy to deter me from asking the little further aid I expect to need. What I must have to carry me through I shall need within a very few days, if I am obliged to call direct for further help; so you will please expect something quite definite very soon. I have endeavored to economize in every possible way; and I will not ask for a dollar until I am driven to do so. I have a trifle over one hundred and eighty dollars on hand, but am afraid I cannot possible make it reach. I am highly gratified with all our arrangements up to the present time, and feel certain that no time has yet been lost. One freight is principally here, but will have to go a little further. Our hands, so far, are coining forward promptly, and better than I expected, as we have called on them. We have to move with all caution.

Source: F. B. Sanborn, ed., The Life and Letters of John Brown. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1891, pp. 535-36

Chapter Nine: Final Preparations

His Soul Goes Marching On

West Virginia Archives and History