Friday, October 6, 2017

Sorry today's post is so late: I had to rush out of the apartment first thing to meet the door-and-window delivery guy, who of course arrived an hour later than he said he would. Now, for a few minutes, I am catching up with emails and you, and then I will rush back to the house to show the woodstove to some friends who might want it for their camp. And then I will rush back here to deal with laundry. And then I will rush back to the house and spend the rest of the day painting.

This morning, though, Tom said, "You might want to open my birthday present today instead of tomorrow." His present turned out to be a sweet little wood-encased radio so that I can listen to baseball playoffs while painting. It's a good thing I've already resigned myself to being a Cleveland fan because the Red Sox ain't going nowhere in this series. But at least I can hear them choke in excellent audio.

I'm still working my way steadily into Reynolds's John Brown, Abolitionist. Here are a few passages you might want to mull over . . . perhaps as you consider your own interior thoughts about progressives and deplorables and violence and righteousness and evil.

John Brown treated these . . . black families in the area on terms of complete equality. He worked with them, surveyed their lands, and socialized with them, often visiting their homes and taking them into his. Lyman Epps, Jr., would never forget the kindness Brown showed toward his family. Epps recalled Brown as "a true friend of my father's," adding, "He'd walk up to our house on the Table Lands and come in and play with us children and talk to father. Many's the time I've sat on John Brown's knee. He was a kind and friendly man with children." 
* * * 
It mattered little to [proslavery] Senator Atchison and his ilk that interstate voting was illegal. As one of his Missouri confederates, General B. F. Stringfellow, said in a speech, "To those who have qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national, I say the time has come when such impositions must be disregarded, since your rights and property are in danger. And I advise you, one and all, to enter every election district in Kansas . . . and vote at the point of the bowie-knife and revolver." . . . 
By all accounts, the [Missourians] were a scurvy bunch, well deserving of their moniker: border ruffians. One Free State man described them as the most "rough, coarse, sneering, swaggering, dare-devil looking rascals as ever swung upon the gallows," another as "groups of drunken, bellowing, blood-thirsty demons." The New-York Tribune portrayed the typical border ruffian as tall, slim, hairy-faced, wearing a dirty flannel shirt and dark pants held up by a leather belt from which protruded a bowie knife. 
* * * 
But John Brown would soon be making use of his weapons [in Kansas]--most memorably those menacing two-bladed broadswords he had brought from Ohio.

1 comment:

David (n of 49) said...

"Bleeding Kansas"--an earned nickname. Jefferson's "firebell in the night" ringing its approaching crisis.