Horace Greeley on John Brown’s Raid

Horace Greeley, editorial, New York Tribune December 3, 1859

"We are not those who say. 'if slavery is wrong, then John Brown was wholly right.' There are fit and unfit modes of combating a great evil; we think Brown at Harper's Ferry pursued the latter. . . And, while we heartily wish every slave in the world would run away from his master tomorrow and never be retaken, we should not feel justified in entering a slave state to incite them to do so, even if we were sure to succeed in the enterprise. Of course, we regard Brown's raid as utterly mistaken and, in direct consequences, pernicious.

 "But his are the errors of a fanatic, not the crimes of a felon."