Maria Black to Governor Henry A. Wise, 30 November 1859.
Novr 30th '59
My two daughters have left with a party of young women who purpose to effect the rescue of John Brown. They number about sixteen & wear large petticoats filled with powder, having slow matches attached. If caught they intend to set themselves off & (so effective is the inflammable material about them) the consequence will be awful. In fact, Virginia will be blown sky high. My anxiety about my two children aforesaid & my affectionate concern for your welfare induce me to forewarn you of the imminent peril that awaits you. If you find the girls, send them back before the blow up & send some chivalry along. There is none of your kind up north.
Governor's Office, Letters Received, Henry A. Wise, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.