John Brown made an unlawful attempt to destroy slavery, which resulted in the killing of a dozen men. He was arrested, tried and hung.
Jefferson Davis made an unlawful attempt to perpetuate slavery, which resulted in the death of a million men. He is in durance vile, but from present indications stands a hundred chances of being the next President to one of being hung. From all of which we gather that it is treason worthy of death to take up arms against slavery, and no treason to take up arms for its perpetuation. —
If Jefferson Davis is not hung, the execution of John Brown was cold and unjustifiable murder.
The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 22, 1866
More about the above image from Roy Rosenweig Center for History and New Media:
This lithograph, rather than depicting the scene of Jefferson Davis’ arrest, added other symbols to create a more allegorical representation of the Confederate President’s capture by Union soldiers. Davis, wearing a woman’s dress and bonnet, sits in a birdcage suspended from a hangman’s scaffold. Next to the cage, John Brown, clad in a white robe, rises from out of the ground and points accusingly at Davis. Beneath the cage, diminutive figures of African Americans — in costumes familiar from minstrel stage representations of supposed black character “types” — perform a jubilant and mocking dance. Brown became the most famous martyr to the anti-slavery cause in 1859, when he led a small band of armed men in a raid against the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, intending to seize the weapons there and free all slaves in the vicinity. Brown and his associates were captured and hanged for treason.
Source: G. Querner, John Brown Exhibiting His Hangman, lithograph, Cincinnati, 1863.
What the Mother of a Soldier Starved at Anderson Thinks.
From the Cincinnati Commercial, June 1.
EDS. COM. — In your paper of yesterday you say “There is no great eagerness for the hanging of Jeff. Davis. The best public opinion is that he ought to have been permitted to run away, or killed on the spot when captured, and that he should now be set ashore upon the continent of Africa,” etc.
I am the mother of one of the bravest of volunteer soldiers, who served his country during the late war, and died, with the thousands of her sons, at Andersonville, under the treatment of Jeff. Davis.
What I want the Government whom these men served, and for whom they were so cruelly murdered, to assure us, their surviving friends, is that we are not to be insulted by the liability of meeting that murderer face to face in the streets or highways of his native land. I cannot imagine that the Government contemplates inflicting such a torture on its own friends, as this possibility.
Perhaps we had a right to demand his death — perhaps there is not one of us who would not almost have given their own life to have been allowed to take his — perhaps in the history of the world there has never been an instance of a man who has so barbarously treated his prisoners, being, in return, pampered with luxuries and indulgencies, and invited, as it were, to live, by the very polite government for whom our poor boys have been sacrificed.
Is he to have his health carefully considered, who refused to shelter from the cold, the heat and the storm, the sick and dying of our army? — Dying a thousand deaths in this monstrous captivity, without a friend to help them, and we, their nearest and dearest, expected to sit by with complacency and read the reports of this man’s trumpery nerves, published to excite commiseration for his fate?
Should the Government again require volunteer help, what amount does it expect from the families of the thousands who are lying at Andersonville?
Will the press befriend those whom all other powers have deserted?
A BEREAVED MOTHER.
The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 12, 1866