Old John Browns Mad Outbreak At Harpers Ferry
~ 1859 ~

Frederick County, Maryland
Copyright © 1998, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.
Circular Postmark: Frederick Md. Dec 6 1859
Postage stamp: 3, Scott’s #26
Addressee: Daniel S Wolfinger
Leitersburg, Washington Co. Maryland

Letter’s author: Simon Parsons

Frederick Md, December 5, /59
Friend Daniel,
        Haveing a little spare time this afternoon, I will endeavor to answer your letter which was received some four or five days ago.
        From the tenor of your letter, I could observe that the election which had taken place but a few days previous to your writing, had somewhat disappointed your expectations, and aggrieved you considerably in the truth of its result, but I do not wonder at it in the least, for the people of Maryland had been so long humbuged by this thing falsely styled National Democracy that the truth of its having made even a partial resurrection from the grave which in our little state it had been consigned, fell with more supprise upon the masses than did Old John Browns mad outbreak at Harpers Ferry, and excited a fear for our future national prosperity, which has been only equalled by that of a sister state, where his Honor Henry A Wise has called such an extensive Military force to repel the great body of men, which he feared were marching on to rescue Brown and his confederates.------ I am of the opinion that the North are laughing in their sleeves about this great Military demonstration in Virginia, and I believe further that one half the number of men which are at Charlestown under service could whip (not the whole North) but all the Abolition fanatics which she might turn out for an attempted rescue ------
        For several nights previous to the execution of Brown our City was under patrol guard -- this is not done now yet there is a force stationed every night as guard arround the armory -
        I Noticed yesterday on the National Hotel Register the name of Mr Role ------ I have not seen anything of him yet, but I suppose he will give me a call before he goes home -
        Business is very good with us I give you below a statement of our sales in order that you may judge for yourself ------ I must now draw to a close ------ Write soon again and give me all the news -
        Present my regards to all my old friends as also to your whole family Mother & Sister especially -
Truly Yours
Simon Parsons

Cash Cr Total
March3,172.36 2,048.59$5,220.95
April2,394.65 2,575.254,969.90
May3,164.40 3,252.606,407.00
June3,129.78 4,096.017,225.79
July2,449.84 2,553.095,002.93
Augst2,418.47 2,405.434,823.90
Septbr2,755.67 2,661.725,417.39
Octbr3,068.90 3,891.966,960.86
Novbr2,997.27 3,125.746,123.01

Average per Month, $5,795.74 - 7/9
Average per Day, 223 $

Havn’t I gone to a heap of trouble?

Notes: Abolitionist John Brown and his followers seized the US Armory at Harpers Ferry VA (now WV) in October 1859. He and his men were captured by the US Army under the command of Col. Robt E. Lee. John Brown was tried and then later hanged on 2 December 1859. The Charlestown mentioned in the letter would now be Charles Town, WV.

Underscored words appear in the original letter.

Harpery Ferry Armory, VA, 1862
Harpers Ferry Armory, Virginia, ca1862. NPS photo.

From the Collection of Frederick Smoot
Provenance: Phil Bansner, Postal History Dealer, 1997

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