Editorial in Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald, November 22, 1859.
After John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry on October 19, 1859, Governor Henry A. Wise ordered Virginia militiamen to Charles Town, where Brown was being held in the county jail, to preserve the peace and prevent abolitionists from attempting to rescue him. Wise received many letters from men and women who sympathized with Brown. "If the reckless and restless tools of the Northern Abolitionists, such as Brown and his Harper's Ferry colleagues," wrote Thomas Greene Broughton, editor of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald, "were not over-awed by a force too powerful for them to make a contest with, there cannot be a doubt that an effort at a rescue would be made, and though defeated, many lives might be lost, and many more names of hired ruffians added to the catalogue of Abolition saints and martyrs."