John Brown, from a grateful people

John BrownThis weekend marks the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, an attempt to appropriate from the US armory to defend a slavery free territory. The already notorious anti-slavery evangelist had lost the earlier Free State sanctuaries Palmyra and Osawatomie. On October 16-17, 1859, the band of 22 abolitionists and free men, held off the townsmen and US Marines, until ten were killed and five escaped. The seven survivors were hanged, including Brown, who said at the scaffold: “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”
 
The raid on Harpers Ferry set into motion the fight in earnest to emancipate the southern slaves, ending 305 years of American slavery. Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Central America, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, Venezuela, and all British, French, Danish, Dutch, and Portuguese colonies, had already abolished slavery between 1811 and 1863. The US was followed by Cuba then Brazil in 1888.

Osawatomie Brown‘s band were fanatical and violent, but were hailed as heroes by the Union in the Civil War. This statue was erected in 1911, inscribed “erected to the memory of John Brown by a grateful people.” It stands in Kansas City, in a neighborhood which once was the town of Quindaro, a major stop along the underground railway.

Brown’s fellow domestic terrorists were:

Killed: Jeremiah G. Anderson, Oliver Brown, Watson Brown, John H. Kagi, Lewis S. Leary, William H. Leeman, Dangerfield Newby, Stewart Taylor, Dauphin Thompson and William Thompson.

Executed: John E. Cook, John A. Copeland, Edwin Coppoc, Shields Green, Albert Hazlett, and Aaron D. Stevens.

Escaped: Osborne P. Anderson, Owen Brown, Barclay Coppoc, Francis J. Merriam, and Charles P. Tidd.

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