Trial of John Brown (1859)

In October 1859, the abolitionist John Brown attempted to seize a federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Convicted of treason, he gave a brief statement before his execution.
definitions & notes only words
  1. court
    a tribunal presided over by one or more judges
    I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say.
  2. design
    the creation of something in the mind
    In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted, the design on my part to free the slaves.
  3. scale
    relative magnitude
    I designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale.
  4. treason
    a crime that undermines the offender's government
    I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.
  5. incite
    provoke or stir up
    I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.
  6. rebellion
    organized opposition to authority
    I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.
  7. insurrection
    organized opposition to authority
    I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.
  8. objection
    the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
    I have another objection; and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty.
  9. candor
    the quality of being honest and straightforward
    Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed. . .
  10. portion
    something determined in relation to a thing that includes it
    Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed. . .
  11. testify
    give a solemn statement in a court of law
    Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed. . .
  12. behalf
    as the agent of or on someone's part
    Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed. . .
  13. intelligent
    having the capacity for thought and reason to a high degree
    Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed. . .
  14. sacrifice
    endure the loss of
    . . . had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right;
  15. interference
    any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
    . . . had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right;
  16. deem
    keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
    . . . and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.
  17. bond
    a connection that fastens things together
    It teaches me, further, to "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them."
    Brown is referring to slaves as those who are held in bondage.
  18. bound
    confined by bonds
    It teaches me, further, to "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them."
  19. endeavor
    attempt by employing effort
    I endeavored to act up to that instruction.
  20. despise
    look down on with disdain
    I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right.
  21. forfeit
    lose or lose the right to by some error, offense, or crime
    Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!
  22. wicked
    morally bad in principle or practice
    Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!
  23. circumstances
    one's overall condition in life
    Considering all the circumstances. it has been more generous than I expected.
  24. consciousness
    having knowledge of
    But I feel no consciousness of guilt.
  25. disposition
    a natural or acquired habit or characteristic tendency
    I never had any design against the life of any person, nor any disposition to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection.
  26. contrary
    exact opposition
    But the contrary is true.
  27. regret
    feel sorry for; be contrite about
    I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness.
  28. accord
    sympathetic compatibility
    There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part of them at their own expense.
    Of your own accord can mean of your own free will.