Henry David Thoreau
(Library of Congress)
Thoreau delivered his "Plea for Captain John Brown" only two weeks after the raid. He agreed with Brown's
"peculiar doctrine that a man has a perfect right to interfere by force with the slaveholder, in order to rescue the slave."
He called the raid "the best news that America has ever heard. It has already quickened the feeble pulse of the North, and
infused more and more generous blood into her veins and heart than any number of years of what is called commercial and
political prosperity could." Brown was "like the best of those who stood at our bridge once, on Lexington Common, and on
Bunker Hill, only he was firmer and higher principled."