JOHN BROWN AND HIS MEN
Before His Raid on Harper’s Ferry, Oct. 16, 17, 18, 1859.
By Richard J. Hinton, One of their Comrades, in June Leslie.
John Brown then busied himself with the gathering of his famous Chatham Convention, which met on May 8th, 1858. The Rev. William C. Munroe, of Detroit, a colored clergyman, was made chairman, with John H. Kagi as secretary. There were present, besides John Brown, the following members of his Iowa party: Kagi, Cook, Stevens, Realf, Jeremiah Anderson, Moffett, Gill, Parsons, Owen Brown, Tidd, Stewart Taylor and Richardson. Stevens was still known as “Whipple”.
The balance of the convention consisted of colored men. Among some of them were the well-known Rev. W. C. Munroe, I. D. Shadd, Thomas F. Cary, John A. Thomas and J. H. Harris, the latter of whom is now a leading citizen of North Carolina, and has served several terms in congress. The convention was in session three days, and adopted the Provisional Constitution for the United States and the Declaration of Independence John Brown had prepared. No president for the government under it was chosen, but John Brown was elected commander-in-chief; J. H. Kagi, secretary of war; Richard Realf, secretary of state, and George B. Gill, secretary of the treasury. J. W. Lognen, of Syracuse, was named for president, but was not present to accept. A League of Liberty to aid John Brown and his movements, was formed, of which, at the time of the outbreak, Thomas F. Cary was chairman, I. D. Shadd and M. F. Bailey, secretaries, and Wm. Lambert, treasurer.