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Staunton Spectator: November 22, 1859

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For the Spectator; Agriculture of Augusta County
(Column 6)
Summary: Part of continuing series. This section: Hay and Pasture, Varieties, Seeding, Watered meadows
Trailer: J. L. Campbell

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Military Movements
(Column 2)
Summary: The West Augusta guard was briefly summoned to Charlestown on November 19 because of fears that some of Brown's supporters might attempt to help him escape.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. J. H. Waters, Capt. William Hay)
The Tide Police
(Column 1)
Summary: Editorial endorsing the upcoming Opposition convention as Virginia's bulwark against rising tides of sectionalism. The Opposition trusts that its members will not succumb to Republican anti-slavery. Article discusses problem of slave drain.
Nicholas C. Kinney
(Column 2)
Summary: Obituary for Kinney, former clerk of Augusta circuit court and War of 1812 veteran.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Kinney)
Excitement at Charlestown
(Column 3)
Summary: Series of dispatches from Harpers Ferry and Washington about possible insurrections stemming from John Brown's raid. People are really on edge.
Origin of Article: Harpers Ferry, Washington
Full Text of Article:

Harper's Ferry, November 17.--There is considerable excitement here and at Charlestown in regard to the numerous cases of incendiarism occurring. There were five barns and outhouses burnt to-day in the neighborhood of Charlestown, and we learn that in consequence of this Colonel Davis, who was placed in charge of the military at Charlestown, has telegraphed to Governor Wise requesting immediately two companies of cavalry to aid in arresting all suspected parties found lurking in the neighborhood.

Second Despatch.--There are numerous exciting rumors here relative to an attempted rescue being contemplated. One rumor says there are some two or three hundred men armed with Sharp's rifles encamped near Berryville, near Charlestown, but doubtless it is unfounded. A messenger has been sent to ascertain the facts, but has not yet returned.

Washington, November 17.--Owing to dispatches received from Charlestown, Governor Wise has ordered three hundred men and two pieces of artillery to leave Alexandria at day break for Charlestown. The Richmond forces will probably leave on an express train at an early hour. This prompt action is understood to be in response to the request made by Col. Davis, at Charlestown, for troops to aid in arresting the incendiaries who infest that section of the State and other obnoxious individuals.

Harper's Ferry, Nov. 18.--The messenger sent last night from this place to Charlestown, to ascertain the truth or falsity of the exciting rumors that have been circulating through this region, touching incendiary attempts to destroy the property of citizens of Jefferson county, and of anticipated attempts to rescue the condemned prisoners now confined in jail there, did not return until about 4 o'clock this morning.

It appears that when he reached the outskirts of Charlestown he was stopped by some of the guards, who were on the watch for suspicious individuals, and detained for some two and a half hours before he could be permitted to enter the village. The military had been ordered out, and were guarding all the roads in anticipation of an attack, by whom, or from what quarter, is not stated. The night, however, was passed undisturbed.

The only fact gathered is that a very large fire had been burning at a distance of some four miles from Charlestown, the exact locality of which was not known.

There were any amount of rumors afloat, and a considerable amount of nervous excitement manifested by the citizens.

Second Despatch.--Evening--The excitement here last night was caused by the burning of a wheat stack about three miles from Charlestown. The military and populace were called to arms, and the wildest terror prevailed among the people, the supposition being that Col. Davis had some information of approaching danger. The panic of the people extended to Col. Davis, and a messenger was sent by him to the Ferry with a despatch for the Governor, calling for two companies of cavalry. This morning the fire was found to have been the work of an unknown incendiary, but no person could be found in the county on whom suspicion could rest.--There are now one thousand men under arms and no enemy to be found for them to encounter.--The troops from Alexandria arrived at Charlestown this afternoon, and those sent by the Mayor of Winchester are expected tomorrow morning.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company have sent Col. A. P. Shutt with an armed posse to Harper's Ferry, to guard the bridge and the property of the company at that point.

There is much dissatisfaction expressed both here and at Charlestown at the precipitate action of Col. Davis in sending despatches for troops, instead of first sending out a posse to inquire into the cause of the fire. They think they have been made to appear in a ridiculous light before the country, and they are more than half right on that point.

10 P. M.--Despatches just received from Charlestown say that there is no cause for alarm, and there has been no evidence of any kind of an attempt to rescue the prisoners. Some four or five suspicious characters were traced and driven off. The whole alarm is perfectly ridiculous and without foundation. Washington, Nov. 18.--The government today ordered two thousand pounds of powder to be sent to Harper's Ferry's with a large number of Minie rifle bal's and some howitzer shells from the Washington Arsenal.

Arrest of a Suspected Insurgent
(Column 4)
Summary: Details the arrest of another Harpers Ferry conspirator, Dr. William A. Palmer, in Memphis.
Origin of Article: Memphis Enquirer
Full Text of Article:

It has already been mentioned that a Dr. Wm. A. Palmer has been arrested at Memphis, Tenn., of suspicion of being connected with the Harper's Ferry business. The Memphis Enquirer says:

It seems that Palmer has been a resident of this vicinity for a number of years past; that he married a lady residing near town, but procured a divorce some months since on account of domestic difficulties, and has since that time boarded at the Redford House, where he was arrested. Palmer is a man about 40 years of age, very respectable in appearance, five feet eight inches in height, slightly stooping, and hesitates somewhat in his speech.

It appears that some two weeks ago, during the excitement of the Harper's Ferry insurrection, a gentleman, seated in a railroad car between Baltimore and Philadelphia, on his way to New York, observed a man on a seat near him closely muffled, appearing to use every means possible to prevent recognition, and shield himself from observation. On the arrival of the train at a station, the man hurriedly gathered up and left the car. The attention of the gentleman who had previously noticed his movements was attracted to a number of letters and papers on the floor beneath the seat, which had accidently been dropped in his haste. He gathered the papers, but the car at that moment starting, he was obliged to return to his seat, with the documents in his possession. They proved to be two letters and a small memorandum. This being, as stated, at the time when the whole community was aroused to the movements of the insurrection, the defeat and imprisonment of its leader, and the letter being addressed to John Brown, connected with the suspicious movements of the man in whose possession they had been, excited his curiosity not a little. The idea flashed on his mind that he had in his possession something which would throw light on this subject. He accordingly perused the open letter, which greatly confirmed his suspicions. On his arrival in New York he addressed Gov. Wise of Virginia, an anonymous letter, enclosing the documents, stating the circumstances connected with his possession of them, and his suspicion. On their receipt Gov. Wise immediately forwarded them to Gov. Harris, who thought the matter of sufficient importance to demand an investigation. He accordingly dispatched John B. Church, of Chattanooga, to this city, who arrived some time last week, and after various inquiries and investigations arrested Palmer as previously stated.

The court room during his examination was densely crowded, and a great deal of excitement was manifested. After a thorough examination into all the facts of the case, Palmer was required to enter into bonds of $2,500 for his appearance at the District Court, in default of which he was committed to prison.

The letters were addressed respectively to Captain J. Brown, Harper's Ferry, and to Wm. Horner, the former being signed by Lawrence Thatcher, and dated Memphis, October 3, 1859, the latter by Mary Horner, at Chambersburg, October 20, being an entreaty that William, her husband, would not go to Harper's Ferry. The writer of the letter signed Lawrence Thatcher, and addressed to Captain Brown, says: "I have just completed my tour through the Southern States, and am now on my way to Kentucky.--In my last letter to you, I mentioned that I should give the States of Tennessee and Arkansas a thorough scouring. I did so, and am satisfied that of all the States in the South, Tennessee and Arkansas are the best fitted to make the first strike in." He also states that on arriving at Memphis he had an interview with Palmer, who sympathized with Captain Brown. He (Palmer) had made arrangements to take five hundred or a thousand slaves off to the swamps of Indiana. That he had friends in Cincinnati who had promised to have one of the largest and swiftest steamers on the river sent to tie up and wait for them at the mouth of the Hatchie river, under the pretence of undergoing repairs.

For the Spectator; Virginia Central Railroad
(Column 4)
Summary: Letter complaining about the "old fogy" management and policies of the Virginia Central Railroad, which the writer believes is very expensive and poorly scheduled.
Trailer: A Stockholder
Northern Sentiment
(Column 4)
Summary: Report on Northern opinion of John Brown and raid, claiming that the majority of people are not so sympathetic as their leaders make them out to be.
Origin of Article: National Intelligencer
Full Text of Article:

The New York correspondent of the National Intelligencer, in his letter of the 14th inst., sustains the views which we presented last week in regard to the sentiments of the Northern people about the Harper's Ferry affair. He says: "The Express speaks wisely and well when it advises calmness and contempt, rather than angry recrimination towards the ultra editors and preachers in the North who fulminate violent diatribes in the South and manifest maudlin sympathy for John Brown and his guilty followers. It is right in the declaration that expressions of sympathy for the treasonable outbreak at Harper's Ferry, and those engaged in it as the chief actors, are confined principally to certain leading politicians and fanatical literateurs, who in no way express the sentiments of the mess of the Northern people. It protests against holding the conservative men of the country responsible for the extremists of the North; and it repeats what can be confirmed by indubitable proof, that there are three- quarter of a million of voters in the Free States, disgusted alike with both the Republican and Democratic parties, who have remained at home at the recent State elections. It is to be hoped the assertion will be verified that these voters will be heard from in 1860, in such a manner as to give practical evidence that no merely sectional man or sectional party can receive at the hands of the people an election for the first office in the Government.

For the Spectator
(Column 4)
Summary: Letter expressing hope that new county surveyors will make sure that public roads are made thirty feet wide.
Trailer: More Anon.

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Excitement at Charlestown, VA
(Column 1)
Summary: Charlestown is still in an uproar after the Harper's Ferry raid because many of its inhabitants believe that some of Brown's men are still in the vicinity.
(Column 2)
Summary: Married on November 13.
(Names in announcement: Rev. X.J. Richardson, John Shuby, Julia Miser)
(Column 2)
Summary: Married at Locust Hill on November 17.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C.S.M. See, James Black, M. Cornelia Moffitt)
(Column 2)
Summary: Sophia Keller died at age 96. She was a member of the German Reform Church.
(Names in announcement: Sophia Keller, George Keller)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 2)
Summary: Tribute for Bickle, War of 1812 veteran, from the West Augusta Guard.
(Names in announcement: Adam Bickle, Lieut. Waters, F.M. Imboden)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 2)
Summary: Tribute of respect for Kinney, War of 1812 veteran, from the West Augusta Guard.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Kinney, Lieut. Waters, F.M. Imboden)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 2)
Summary: Tribute of respect for Kinney from the members of the Staunton Bar.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Kinney, Thomas Michie, Col. John Baldwin, Alexander H.H. Stuart)

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