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#91: A Failed Attempt to Raise a Rebel Army of Slaves

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

In October of eighteen fifty-nine, a group of anti-slavery extremists attacked the town of Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was part of Virginia then; today it is located in West Virginia. The attackers were led by John Brown. They seized a gun factory and a federal supply center where military equipment was kept. They planned to use the guns and equipment to organize a rebel army of slaves.

1859年10月的一天,一小群反对蓄奴的极端主义者在约翰·布朗的带领下,对一个叫哈珀斯费里的小镇发动进攻。哈珀斯费里镇当时还是维吉尼亚的一部分,如今已经划归西维吉尼亚。布朗等人夺取了一个枪械厂和一个联邦军需弹药库,准备用这些枪支弹药来装备一支奴隶起义军。

This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell us what happened to John Brown after he seized Harpers Ferry.

VOICE ONE:

Marines attack the engine house at Harpers Ferry
Marines attack the engine house at Harpers Ferry

The president of the United States in eighteen fifty-nine was James Buchanan. When Buchanan learned of the attack, he wanted immediate action. He sent a force of Marines to Harpers Ferry, under the command of Army Colonel Robert E. Lee.

1859年时的美国总统是詹姆斯·布坎南。布坎南听到哈珀斯费里镇被袭击的消息后,希望立即采取行动。他下令陆军上校罗伯特·李率领一批海军陆战队员,奔赴哈珀斯费里镇。

John Brown had attacked with about twenty men. Several, including two of his sons, had been killed by local militia. He and his remaining men withdrew to a small brick building. The attack had failed. Not one slave had come to Harpers Ferry to help Brown.

约翰·布朗手下只有大约二十人,包括他的两个儿子在内的一些人已经被当地民兵打死。布朗带着残余力量撤退到一个小砖房里。这次袭击行动以失败告终,没有一个奴隶如布朗预料的那样,揭竿而起,投奔布朗的起义军。

The few whom his men had freed had refused to fight when the shooting started. Brown could not understand the fear that kept the slaves from fighting for their freedom.

就连布朗在行动中释放的几个奴隶,也都拒绝参加战斗。布朗实在难以理解,这些奴隶到底怕什么,不敢为自己的自由奋起反抗。

VOICE TWO:

Brown and his men were trapped inside the brick building. They held a few hostages whom they hoped to exchange for their freedom.

布朗等人被围困在小砖房里,希望靠人质来保全性命。

A drawing of the inside of the engine house just before it was seized by Marines
A drawing of the inside of the engine house just before it was seized by Marines

Colonel Lee wrote a message to John Brown demanding his surrender. He did not think Brown would surrender peaceably. So, he planned to attack as soon as Brown rejected the message. He felt this was the surest way to save the lives of the hostages.

罗伯特·李上校写信给布朗,要求他投降。罗伯特·李上校估计布朗不会和平缴械,所以做好了进攻的准备,只要布朗拒绝,立刻动手,他觉得,这是保护人质性命安全的最佳手段。

As expected, Brown refused to surrender. He said he and his men had the right to go free. As soon as Brown spoke, the signal was given. The Marines attacked.

不出所料,布朗不肯投降,并表示,他们有权全身而退。布朗话音刚落,罗伯特·李就下达了进攻的命令。

They broke open a small hole in the door of the brick building. One by one, the Marines moved through the hole. They fought hand-to-hand against the men inside. After a brief fight, they won. John Brown's rebellion was crushed.

海军陆战队队员在小砖房的门上打开一个小洞,一个接一个地从洞里钻进去。他们跟布朗的手下展开肉搏战,最终获胜,将布朗等人捕获。

VOICE ONE:

A few hours after Brown was captured, the Governor of Virginia and three Congressmen arrived in Harpers Ferry. They wanted to question Brown. Brown had been wounded in the final attack. He was weak from the loss of blood. But he welcomed the chance to explain his actions.

布朗被俘几小时后,维吉尼亚州州长和三个国会议员来到哈珀斯费里镇,希望向布朗问话。布朗在最后的搏斗中受了伤,严重失血,但还是愿意为自己的行动做出辩护。

The officials first asked where Brown got the money to organize his raid. Brown said he raised most of it himself. He refused to give the names of any of his supporters. Then the officials asked why Brown had come to Harpers Ferry. "We came to free the slaves," Brown said, "and only that."

维吉尼亚州州长和三名国会议员问布朗,发动袭击的钱是哪来的,布朗说,大部分是自己筹措的,不肯说出任何支持者的名字。接下来的问题是,为什么选择哈珀斯费里镇,布朗的回答是,“我们的目的是要解放奴隶,不为别的。”

He continued: "I think that you are guilty of a great wrong against God and humanity. I believe anyone would be perfectly right to interfere with you, so far as to free those you wickedly hold in slavery. I think I did right. You had better -- all you people of the South -- prepare yourselves for a settlement sooner than you are prepared for it.

布朗继续说,“我觉得你们对上帝和人类铸下了大错。我相信,任何人都有权干涉你们的所作所为,解放那些被你们无耻地占为己有的奴隶。我觉得我是对的。你们这些南方人最好做好准备,问题的解决要比你们预料的来得快得多。”

"You may get rid of me very easily. I am nearly gone now. But this question is still to be settled -- this Negro question, I mean. That is not yet ended."

布朗还说,“你们可以很轻易地除掉我,我已经快不行了,但是黑奴的问题还是没有解决。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The raid on Harpers Ferry increased the bitterness of the national dispute over slavery. Members of the Democratic Party called the raid a plot by the Republican Party. Republican leaders denied the charge. They said the raid was the work of one man -- one madman -- John Brown. Still, they said, he had acted for good reason: to end slavery in America.

哈珀斯费里镇受到攻击的事件进一步加深了南北双方围绕奴隶存废问题展开的激烈争论。民主党人说这起事件是共和党的阴谋,共和党领袖矢口否认,说这只是布朗一个人--一个疯子---的个人行为,但他初衷没错,那就是,结束奴隶制。

Southern newspapers condemned Brown. Some said his raid was an act of war. Some demanded that he be executed as a thief and murderer.

南方报纸对布朗提出谴责。有人说他的袭击行动是在宣战。另外一些人要求以盗窃和谋杀罪将他处死。

Many southerners said all of the North was responsible for the raid. They believed all northerners wanted a slave rebellion in the South. And it was such a rebellion that southerners feared more than anything else.

很多南方人表示,所有北方人都要为这次袭击行动负责,因为所有北方人都希望看到南方出现奴隶起义,而这也是南方人最担心的。

New measures were approved throughout the South to prevent this. Military law was declared in some areas. Slave owners threatened to beat or hang any Negro who even looked rebellious.

南方各地纷纷采取措施进行防范,有些地区甚至宣布了戒严令。奴隶主威胁说,哪怕黑奴只是看上去要叛逆,就要拷打、绞死他们。

VOICE ONE:

The fear of a slave rebellion united the people of the South. For years, rich slave owners had talked of taking the southern states out of the Union to save their way of life. But those who had no slaves opposed the idea of disunion.

对奴隶起义的担忧让南方人凝聚到了一处。多年来,南方有钱的奴隶主一直主张脱离联邦,以保全自己的生活方式,但是没有奴隶的南方人反对分裂。

John Brown's raid changed that. After his attack on Harpers Ferry, the south spoke with one voice. All southerners declared that they would fight to protect their homes from a Negro rebellion or from another attack by men like Brown. Feelings were especially high in Virginia, the state in which the raid took place. Virginians wanted Brown punished quickly to show what would happen to anyone who tried to lead a Negro rebellion.

约翰·布朗对哈珀斯费里镇的袭击改变了这一切。袭击事件发生后,南方成了铁板一块。南方人一致宣称,他们誓死保护自己的家园不受奴隶起义的威胁,不受布朗这种人的袭击。这种情绪在哈珀斯费里镇所在的维吉尼亚州尤其高涨。维吉尼亚州居民希望立即严惩布朗,让大家知道,领导黑奴起义的人是什么下场。

There was some question whether Brown should be tried in a federal court or a state court. Brown's raid took place within the borders of a state. But the property he seized belonged to the federal government.

可问题是,布朗应该在州法院还是联邦法院受审。袭击发生在维吉尼亚州,但是布朗夺取的财物归联邦政府。

The Governor of Virginia decided to try Brown in a state court. He believed a federal court trial would take too long. If Brown were not brought to trial quickly, he said, people might attack the jail and kill him.

维吉尼亚州州长决定让州法院受理布朗一案,因为他觉得,联邦法院拖得太久。如果不立即将布朗绳之以法,民众就可能冲击监狱,把他打死。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

John Brown
John Brown

Brown was being held in Charles Town, a few kilometers from Harpers Ferry. The court there named two lawyers to defend him. A doctor examined Brown. He reported that Brown's wounds were not serious enough to prevent the trial from starting. Brown lay in a bed in the courtroom throughout the trial.

当时,布朗被关在距离哈珀斯费里镇几公里处的查尔斯镇。当地法院为他指定了两名辩护律师。医生给布朗验伤后表示,伤势的严重程度不妨碍审判。审判全过程,布朗一直躺在床上。

John Brown's lawyers tried to show that his family had a history of madness. They tried to prove that Brown, too, was mad. They asked the court to declare him innocent because of insanity. Brown protested. He said the lawyers were just trying to save his life. He did not want such a defense. The matter of insanity was dropped.

起初,布朗的律师提出,布朗有家族精神病史,因此布朗神智不正常,应该无罪释放。布朗不肯接受这种辩护。

VOICE ONE:

Brown's lawyers then argued that he was not guilty of the three crimes with which he was charged.

律师没办法,也只好另觅溪径,说布朗被指控的三大罪名并不成立。

First, they said, he could not be guilty of treason against Virginia, because he was not a citizen of Virginia. Second, he could not be guilty of plotting a slave rebellion, because he had never incited slaves against their owners. And third, he could not be guilty of murder, because he had killed only in self-defense.

首先,他不是维吉尼亚州居民,因此叛逆罪不能成立;第二,他从来没有煽动奴隶反抗奴隶主,所以阴谋策划奴隶起义的罪名也不成立;第三,他杀人是正当防卫,所以谋杀罪不成立。

The trial lasted five days. The jury found John Brown guilty of all three charges.

布朗一案的审理进行了五天,陪审团最后裁定,布朗被指控的三大罪名全部成立。

VOICE TWO:

The judge asked Brown if he wanted to make a statement before being sentenced. Brown did. He declared that he had not planned to start a slave rebellion. He said he only wanted to free some slaves and take them to Canada. Brown's statement was strong. But it was not true. He had, in fact, planned to organize an army of slaves to fight for their freedom. He acted in the belief that slaves throughout the south would rise up against their owners and join him.

法官问布朗,在宣判之前有什么话说。布朗宣称,他不曾计划挑起奴隶起义,他本以为,南方各地的奴隶会自觉自愿地揭竿而起,加入他的阵营。

Brown's words did not move the judge. He said he could find no reason to question the jury's decision that Brown was guilty. He sentenced Brown to be hanged.

然而,布朗的一番话并没有打动法官。法官表示,他没有理由怀疑陪审团的有罪裁决,并判处布朗绞刑。

VOICE ONE:

One of Brown's supporters attempted to find a way to free Brown from jail. Several plans were proposed. None were tried.

布朗的一个支持者试图劫狱,提出了好几项计划,但是最终都没有落实。

A drawing of John Brown as he is about to be hanged
A drawing of John Brown as he is about to be hanged

Brown himself did not want to escape. He said he could do more to destroy slavery by hanging than by staying alive.

布朗本人并不想跑。他表示,他活着对消灭奴隶制度的价值,远远没有他被绞死对消灭奴隶制度的意义更为重大。

John Brown was executed on December second, eighteen fifty-nine. His death created a wave of public emotion throughout the country. In the North, people mourned.

1859年12月2号,布朗被处以绞刑。他的死在美国全国引起了巨大反响。北方人悼念布朗。

One man wrote: "The events of the last month or two have done more to build northern opposition to slavery than anything which has ever happened before, than all the anti-slavery pamphlets and books that have ever been written."

曾经有一个人这样写道:“过去一、两个月发生的事情,比已往任何时候发生的事情,比任何反对蓄奴的书籍和资料,对推动北方联合反对奴隶制产生的效果都要大。”

In the south, people cheered. But their happiness at Brown's punishment was mixed with anger at those who honored him. As the nation prepared for a presidential election year, the South renewed its promise to defend slavery -- or leave the Union.

与此同时,布朗的死让南方人欢腾雀跃,同时也夹杂了对悼念他的人们的愤怒。美国总统大选前夕,南方人再次誓言捍卫奴隶制,要么就脱离联邦。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant. Transcripts of our programs can be found along with MP3s, podcasts and 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 #91 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:perfect100
the true hero is named john brown in the USA .
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