(Virginia Historical Society, Accession no. 2007.5.48)
Ruffin was a radical Virginian who advocated secession. He welcomed the raid and northern support of it as
an opportunity to advance southern unity. Ruffin managed to sneak into a militia unit at Harpers Ferry to witness the
hanging. He sent one of Brown's pikes to each of the southern governors, urging its prominent display in their respective
state capitol buildings as "evidence of the fanatical hatred borne by the dominant northern party to the institutions &
people of the Southern States." Ruffin also encouraged the linking of Brown to the Republican Party, which he hoped would
win the presidency in 1860 and thereby inevitably dissolve the Union.