The Insurrection at Harper's Ferry
night. I am told there are no hotel accommodations at either Harper's Ferry or Charlestown, sufficient to take care of one or two thousand people. If you will take one fare for the excursion ticket from Baltimore to Washington and back, I will advertise the excursion at once, and sell them all tickets through to Washington, with the agreement that you will sell round trip tickets to Charlestown or Harper's Ferry for all that wish to go there.
You need not fear of any trouble from any of the people that will go on my excursion, as any one that would not behave well would not dare to go.
Hoping to receive a favorable answer from you by return mail, I remain truly,
Your ob't servant,
Baltimore, November 28, 1859.
Josiah Perham, Esq., Boston, Mass.,
The President has handed me your letter of the 21st instant, relative to a proposed excursion from the East to Harper's Ferry and Charlestown, to enable curious persons to witness the execution of the Virginia State prisoners next month, and to which he has also requested that I shall make his reply.
He distinctly states, that in view of the peculiar relation of the criminals, to a portion of the Eastern community, and the great liability, to at least an unpleasant excitement on the occasion, should large numbers of distant strangers visit the scene,—prudence justifies him in declining altogether any facilities, whatever, in connection with the event, except such as may be necessary for those who may travel upon the road for objects entirely legitimate.
Under no circumstances therefore, will any provision be made for excursionists to the execution. On the contrary, it may be well to advise you, that, so far as the Company is able, we will endeavor by all proper means to prevent any such movement.
Very respectfully, yours,
W. P. SMITH,
M. of T.
B. H. Richardson, Annapolis
Western Maryland Room, WCFL
22 x 14 cms
Maryland. General Assembly. Senate, 1860.
Harpers Ferry (W. Va.), History; John Brown's Raid, 1859.
Harpers Ferry (WV), Washington County (Md.), 1859