Oct 16 Sesquicentennial of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry

John Brown
Brown idealized

John Brown of Osawatomie spake on his dying day:
“I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery’s pay.
But let some poor slave-mother whom I have striven to free,
With her children, from the gallows-stair put up a prayer for me!”

John Brown of Osawatomie, they led him out to die;
And lo! a poor slave-nother with her little child pressed nigh.
Then the bold, blue eye grew tender, and the old, harsh face
grew mild.
As he stooped between the jeering ranks and kissed the negro’s
child!

The shadow of his stormy life that moment fell apart;
And they who blamed the bloody hand forgave the loving heart.
And they who blessed the guilty means redeemed the good intent,
And round the grisly fighter’s hair the martyr’s aureole bent.

– – Whittier

This event did not actually happen, Brown was led to the gallows ringed round by soldiers for fear of a rescue attempt.

Brown burial plaque

JOHN BROWN OF OSAWATOMIE
HERE LIES BURIED
JOHN BROWN
BORN AT TORRINGTON, CONNECTICUT
MAY 9TH, 1800
HE EMIGRATED TO KANSAS IN 1855 WHERE HE TOOK AN
ACTIVE PART IN THE CONTEST AGAINST THE PRO-SLAVERY PARTY.
HE GAINED IN AUGUST 1856 A VICTORY AT OSAWATOMIE
OVER A SUPERIOR NUMBER OF MISSOURIANS WHO HAD
INVADED KANSAS (WHENCE HIS SURNAME “OSAWATOMIE”)
HE CONCEIVED THE IDEA OF BECOMING THE LIBERATOR OF
THE NEGRO SLAVES IN THE SOUTH AND ON THE NIGHT OF
OCTOBER 16, 1859 AT THE HEAD OF A DEVOTED BAND OF
22 FOLLOWERS HE SEIZED THE UNITED STATES ARSENAL
AT HARPER’S FERRY, VIRGINIA WITH THE VIEW OF ARMING
THE NEGROS WHO MIGHT COME TO HIS FORTIFIED CAMP.
IN THE FIGHT WITH THE UNITED STATES TROOPS AND CIVILIANS
WHICH FOLLOWED HE WAS OVERPOWERED AND TAKEN PRISONER
OCTOBER 18, 1859, HE WAS TRIED BY THE COMMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
AT CHARLESTOWN, VIRGINIA AND WAS EXECUTED DECEMBER 2, 1859.

HERE LIE BURIED WITH HIM
TWELVE OF HIS FOLLOWERS
WATSON BROWN (SON OF JOHN BROWN) OF NORTH ELBA, N.Y.
OLIVER BROWN (SON OF JOHN BROWN) OF NORTH ELBA, N.Y.
WILLIAM THOMPSON, OF NORTH ELBA, N.Y.
DAUPHIN ADOLPHUS THOMPSON, OF NORTH ELBA, N.Y.
JOHN HENRI KAGI, ADJUTANT
WILLIAM H. LEEMAN, LIEUTENANT
JEREMIAH C. ANDERSON, LIEUTENANT
STEWARD TAYLOR
DANGERFIELD NEWBY, NEGRO
THE ABOVE TEN MEN WERE KILLED AT THE HARPER’S FERRY FIGHT
AARON D. STEVENS, CAPTAIN
ALBERT HAZLETT, LIEUTENANT
THE ABOVE TWO WERE TAKEN PRISONERS AND HANGED MARCH 16, 1860

On the bottom left:
THE FOLLOWING MEN OF
JOHN BROWN’S BAND ESCAPED BUT WERE
CAPTURED AND HANGED DECEMBER 16, 1859.
JOHN E. COOK, CAPTAIN
EDWIN COPPOC, LIEUTENATN
SHIELDS GREEN, NEGRO
JOHN A. COPELAND, NEGRO
On the bottom right:
THE FOLLOWING MEN OF
JOHN BROWN’S BAND ESCAPED.
OWEN BROWN, CAPTAIN (SON OF JOHN BROWN)
FRANCIS JACKSON MERRIAM
CHARLES PLUMMER TIDD, CAPTIAN
BARCLAY COPPOC
OSBORNE P. ANDERSON, NEGRO
JOHN ANDERSON, NEGRO

THIS TABLET ERECTED THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF BYRON R. BREWSTER OF LAKE PLACID, N.Y. 1916
DESIGNED AND CAST BY JNO. WILLIAMS INC. NEW YORK

. . . and of course the famous Horace Pippin painting

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