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#90: Story of John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

One day in October of eighteen fifty-nine, Americans were shocked by news of an attack led by John Brown. He was an antislavery extremist. Many people also considered him a madman.

1859年10月的一天,反对蓄奴的极端主义者约翰·布朗对一个叫哈珀斯费里的小镇发起攻击,消息传来,四方震惊。布朗曾宣称,他要为结束奴隶制度献身,很多人觉得他简直就是个疯子。

John Brown
John Brown

John Brown had declared that he was ready to die fighting slavery. He said that God wanted him to fight slavery by invading Virginia with a military force. And even if the rebellion failed, he predicted that it would lead to a civil war between the North and the South. Should there be a war, he said, the North would break the chains of black slaves.

布朗说,上帝授意,要他率领一支武装力量进攻维吉尼亚,掀起奴隶起义。布朗预言,即便起义失败,也会点燃南、北双方的内战。一旦战争打响,北方就会凿烂黑奴身上的枷锁。

Brown decided to strike at Harpers Ferry, a small town about one hundred kilometers from Washington. It was part of Virginia at that time, but is now located in the state of West Virginia. It had a factory that made guns for the army and a supply center of valuable military equipment. Brown wanted the guns and equipment for the slave army he hoped to organize.

布朗选择距离首都华盛顿大约一百公里的小镇哈珀斯费里做为攻击目标。当时,哈珀斯费里是维吉尼亚的一部分,如今位于西维吉尼亚。那里有一家枪械厂和一个弹药库。布朗希望夺取武器弹药,用来武装自己准备组建的奴隶军。

Harpers Ferry was built on a narrow finger of land where the Shenandoah River flowed into the Potomac. There was a bridge across each river. Brown organized his attack from across the Potomac, in Maryland.

哈珀斯费里镇位于雪兰多河跟波托马克河交汇处一片狭窄地段,两座桥梁分跨两座河流。布朗从波托马克河对岸的马里兰州发动进攻。

This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Jack Moyles continue the story of John Brown and his raid on Harpers Ferry.

VOICE ONE:

With his force of less than twenty men, John Brown moved through the darkness down to the bridge that crossed the Potomac River.

他率领不到20人的手下,连夜摸黑来到波托马克桥头。

Two men left the group to cut the telegraph lines east and west of Harpers Ferry.

布朗派两个人去切断哈珀斯费里镇东、西两侧的电报线。

At the bridge, Brown's men surprised a railroad guard. They told him he was their prisoner. The guard thought they were joking until he saw their guns.

布朗率领其他人突袭桥头的铁路线看守,告诉他,被俘虏了。这个看守本以为他们开玩笑,直到布朗一伙拿出枪来,他才恍然大悟。

Once across the bridge, Brown and his men moved quickly. They captured a few people in the street and another guard at the front gate of the government armory. They seized the armory, then crossed the street and seized the supply center. Millions of dollars' worth of military equipment was kept there.

过桥后,布朗率领手下迅速按计划行动,在大街上抓了几个人,俘虏了弹药库卫兵,夺取了弹药库,控制了价值数百万美元的军事装备。

VOICE TWO:

At left, the armory
At left, the armory

After leaving a few men to guard the prisoners, Brown and the others went to the gun factory across town. They seized the few people who were there and captured the factory.

布朗命令几个人留下,看守俘虏,剩下的人直奔小镇另一侧的枪械厂,夺取了枪械厂的控制权。

Without firing a shot, Brown now controlled the three places he wanted in Harpers Ferry. His problem now was to hold what he had captured. Brown knew he had little time. The people of the town would soon learn what had happened. They would call for help. And several groups of militia in the area would come to the aid of Harpers Ferry.

就这样,布朗不费一枪一炮,就控制了哈珀斯费里镇的三处要地,现在的任务是如何保住这三处要地的控制权。布朗知道,时间有限,小镇居民很快就会得到消息,迅速向外求援,附近地区的几个民兵团队会赶来协助。

Brown planned to use the people he had captured as hostages. The militia would not attack if there was danger of harming the prisoners. He wanted as many prisoners as possible, to protect himself. If his plan failed, he could offer them in exchange for his own freedom and that of his men.

布朗打算用手里的俘虏做人质,防止民兵进攻。他希望尽可能多抓些人,以便保证自己的安全,在万不得已的情况下,可以用人质做为交换,保全自己和手下人的性命。

VOICE ONE:

Brown had decided to capture, as his best hostage, Colonel Lewis Washington. The Colonel was a descendant of President George Washington. He lived on a big farm near Harpers Ferry. Brown sent some of his men to capture the old colonel and free his slaves.

布朗决定把前总统乔治·华盛顿的后裔路易斯·华盛顿上校抓来做人质。华盛顿上校住在哈珀斯费里镇附近的一个大农场上,布朗派手下人去抓老上校,把他的奴隶都放走。

They returned from the Washington farm after midnight. They brought Colonel Washington and ten slaves. They also captured another farmer and his son. The slaves were given spears and told to guard the prisoners.

午夜过后,他们带着华盛顿上校和十个奴隶回到行动总部。他们还抓了一个农夫和他的儿子。布朗把矛发给奴隶,让他们负责看守俘虏。

Then, at the far end of the Potomac River bridge, the first shots were fired.

就在这时候,波托马克桥另一端响起了枪声。

Brown's son, Watson, and another man fired at a railroad guard who refused to halt. A bullet struck his head, but did not hurt him seriously. The guard raced back across the bridge to the railroad station. He cried out that a group of armed men had seized the bridge.

布朗的儿子沃森和另外一个人向拒绝投降的铁路看守开枪,击中看守的头部,但是伤势并不严重。这个看守带伤跑回桥另外一头的火车站,一边跑一边喊,“桥被武装份子抢占了。”

VOICE TWO:

A few minutes later, a train from the west arrived at Harpers Ferry. The wounded guard warned the trainmen of the danger at the bridge. Two of the trainmen decided to investigate. They walked toward the bridge. Before they could reach it, bullets began whizzing past them. They ran back to the train and moved it farther from the bridge.

几分钟后,一列西进的火车抵达哈珀斯费里。受伤的看守人警告火车驾驶,说桥上有危险。火车上的两个人决定去侦察一下,但是还没走到桥头,子弹就呼啸而来。他们只好原路返回,把火车向后倒。

Then a free Negro man who worked at the railroad station, Hayward Shepherd, walked down to the bridge. Brown's men ordered him to halt. Shepherd tried to run and was shot. He got back to the station, but died several hours later.

随后,一个在火车站工作的自由黑人海沃德·谢泼德准备过桥。布朗的手下要他停下。谢泼德想跑,但还是不幸中弹,跑回火车站几小时后,就命丧黄泉了。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Brown finally agreed to let the train pass over the bridge and continue on to Baltimore. The train left at sunrise.

布朗最终同意,让一列西进前往巴尔的摩的火车在日出时分通行。

An illustration from Harper's Weekly showing armed citizens marching to Harpers Ferry
An illustration from Harper's Weekly showing armed citizens marching to Harpers Ferry

By this time, word of Brown's attack had spread to Charles Town, more than twelve kilometers away. Officials called out the militia, ordering the men of Charles Town to get ready to go to the aid of Harpers Ferry.

那时候,布朗袭击哈珀斯费里镇的消息已经传到了十二公里以外的查尔斯镇。查尔斯镇的官员立即召集民兵,准备赶往哈珀斯费里镇。

Soon after sunrise, men began arriving at Harpers Ferry from other towns in the area. They took positions above the armory and started shooting at it.

与此同时,日出后不久,周边城镇的民间武装纷纷抵达哈珀斯费里镇,在俯视弹药库的高地上集结,向弹药库发起攻击。

The militia from Charles Town arrived at the Maryland end of the Potomac bridge. They charged across, forcing Brown's men on the bridge to flee to the armory. Only one of Brown's men was hit. He was killed instantly.

查尔斯镇民兵从波托马克桥的马里兰州一侧向桥上发起冲锋,迫使布朗手下向弹药库后撤,其中一人中弹,当场毙命。

VOICE TWO:

Brown saw that he was surrounded. His only hope was to try to negotiate a ceasefire and offer to release his thirty hostages, if the militia would let him and his men go free. Brown sent out one of his men and one of the prisoners with a white flag. The excited crowd refused to recognize the white flag. They seized Brown's man and carried him away.

布朗意识到,自己被包围了,他把唯一希望寄托在人质身上,希望利用手里的30个人质,交涉停火,保全性命。布朗让一名手下和一个人质举着白旗走出去,谁知围攻的民兵群情激昂,不接受白旗,把布朗的手下抓了起来。

Brown moved his men and the most important of his hostages into a small brick building at the armory. Then he sent out two more of his men with a prisoner to try to negotiate a ceasefire. One of them was his son, Watson.

布朗只好带着其余手下,押着最重要的人质,躲进弹药库一个小砖房里,派两个人和一名人质出去谈判,其中包括他儿子沃森。

VOICE ONE:

This time, the crowd opened fire. Watson and the other raider were wounded. Their prisoner escaped to safety. Watson was able to crawl back to the armory.

围攻的民兵开枪,打伤了沃森两人,人质顺利逃跑,沃森也仓惶逃回了弹药库。

One of the youngest of Brown's men, William Leeman, tried to escape. He ran from the armory and jumped into the Potomac, planning to swim across the river. He did not get far. A group of militia saw him and began shooting. Leeman was forced to hide behind a rock in the middle of the river. Two men went out to the rock with guns and shot him. His body lay in the river for two days.

布朗手下的一个年轻人威廉·里曼试图逃走,从弹药库跑出去,跳进波托马克河,准备游泳过河。但是没游多远就被民兵发现了,里曼没办法,只好躲在河中间一块岩石后面。两个人从背面包抄,将他打死,尸体在河里漂了两天。

Later, more people were killed. One was the mayor of Harpers Ferry, Fontaine Beckham.

后来,又有更多人丧生,包括哈珀斯费里镇长贝克汉姆。

VOICE TWO:

After the mayor's death, a mob went to the hotel where one of Brown's men had been held since he was seized earlier in the day.

贝克汉姆镇长死后,一群暴民赶往当地的一间旅店,旅店里关着早先抓获的布朗的一个手下。

They pulled him from the hotel and took him to the bridge over the river. Several members of the mob put guns to his head and fired. They pushed his body off the bridge and into the water.

暴民将此人带到桥头,几个暴民用枪口顶着他的头,开枪将他打死,然后将尸体投进河里。

Across town, three of Brown's men were in trouble at the gun factory. The factory was built on an island in the Shenandoah River. The island was now surrounded by militia. Forty of the soldiers attacked the factory from three sides. They pushed the three raiders back to a small building next to the river. The three men fought as long as possible. Then they jumped through a window into the river.

与此同时,布朗的三个手下在小镇另一头的枪械厂也遇到了麻烦。这个枪械厂建在雪兰多河的一个小岛上,小岛被民兵包围,四十个民兵从三面同时向枪械厂发起攻击,将布朗手下的三个人逼到河边的一个小房子里,这三个人最后实在坚持不住,只好从窗户跳进河里。

They tried to swim to safety. Men with guns were waiting for them. Bullets fell around the three like rain. One man was hit. He died instantly. Another was wounded. He was pulled to land and left to die. The third man escaped death. He was captured and held for trial.

他们本想从水路逃命,但是等待他们的却是枪口,子弹象雨点般落下来,其中一人当场中弹身亡,另外一人受伤,被拉到岸上,留在那里等死,还有一个人被生擒,接受审判。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

All through the afternoon and evening, Brown's men at the armory continued to exchange shots with the militia. Several more on both sides were killed or wounded. One of those was another of Brown's sons, Oliver. He was shot and seriously wounded.

从下午到晚上,布朗继续率领手下在弹药库跟民兵对峙,双方都有人死伤,布朗的儿子奥利佛也身受重伤。

Night fell. Then, a militia officer, Captain Sinn, walked up to the small building held by Brown. He shouted to the men inside that he wished to talk. Brown opened the door and let him in. For almost an hour, the two men talked. They talked about slavery and the right to rebel against the government.

夜幕降临后,民兵指挥官辛恩来到布朗占领的小房子前,表示愿意谈判。布朗开门让他进去。两人交谈了将近一个小时,谈到了奴隶制度和反抗政府的权利。

VOICE TWO:

Brown was furious that the crowd outside had refused to honor his white flag of truce earlier in the day. He told Sinn that his men could have killed unarmed men and women, but did not do so.

布朗对围攻者早先时候不承认他们的白旗感到愤怒。他告诉辛恩说,他的手下本可以打死手无寸铁的普通百姓,但他们并没有这样做。

"That is not quite correct," Captain Sinn said. "Mayor Beckham had no gun when he was shot."

辛恩说,“你的话不全对。贝克汉姆镇长中弹的时候手里就没拿枪。”

"Then I can only say I am most sad to hear it," said Brown.

布朗回答说,“那我只能说,我听到这个消息十分遗憾。”

"Men who take up guns against the government," said Sinn, "must expect to be shot down like dogs."

辛恩说,“拿枪反抗政府的人,一定会象狗一样被打死。”

VOICE ONE:

In Washington, President Buchanan and Secretary of War John Floyd did not learn of the rebellion at Harpers Ferry until after ten o'clock that morning. The president wanted immediate action.

与此同时,在首都华盛顿,布坎南总统和战争部长约翰·弗洛伊德直到早上十点才听到布朗起义的消息。布坎南总统希望立即采取行动。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Jack Moyles. Transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and archives of our programs can be found, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #90 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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