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(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Burton, Henry C. Stirring letter by a white abolitionist on the death of John Brown. Autograph Letter Signed to Havens Hammond of Patchogue, NY. 2 pages, 10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, on one sheet; folds, minor wear on one edge. [New York], 5 December 1859
An eloquent letter on the death of John Brown, written only three days after his execution: "In my earlier years, I inwardly thanked God that . . . the age of martyrdom was past. . . . Little did I think that in my own glorious country, and in the middle of the nineteenth century, I would be called upon to witness the sacrifice of a confessedly brave and moral man, who has heretofore led a pure and blameless life, fighting only in behalf of the poor and oppressed, that man might hold his fellow creature in bondage. . . . The principles he enunciated, and his own example, will be a rallying cry and a beacon light to millions yet unborn. Slavery is doomed. From the moment in which he swung off the scaffold its knell was sounded. . . . John Brown is dead, but, believe me, the end is not yet." The author, Henry C. Burton, worked at the Manhattan firm of Dun, Boyd & Co., what is now known as Dun & Bradstreet (his letter also discusses Mr. Dun). This was apparently the same Henry Burton who had been married in an 1857 ceremony officiated by the abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher, and later served as a lieutenant in the 12th New York Infantry. He gave his own life toward the defeat of slavery at the Battle of Gaines Mill in 1862.
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