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This exhibit does not contend that John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry caused secession, but seeks to describe the effect of the raid on the political and social atmosphere in North Carolina before May of 1861. Throughout the history of the state, North Carolinians have had a close relationship with Virginia experienced constant conflicts either with slave revolts or abolition. When Virginia was in trouble, more likely than not, North Carolina, would come to the aid of her Northern neighbor. In October 1859, that trouble came in the form of an abolitionist named John Brown, who tried to incite a slave revolt by taking brief control of the Harpers Ferry armory. With an anti-abolitionist tradition and a government which supported slavery, North Carolina took action by increasing its militias, particularly after the glorification of John Brown by abolitionists in the North. This was the climate of distrust which met President Lincoln’s request for volunteers to suppress a rebellion in South Carolina. North Carolinians were already identifying themselves as ‘Southerners’ and that request was sufficient to push North Carolina into secession from the Union.