Tag Archives: John Brown

Dubya Bush sings The Battle Hymn of the Republic like he’s dancing on John Brown’s grave.


“He captured Harper’s Ferry with his nineteen men so true.
He frightened old Virginia till she trembled through and through.
They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew.
But his soul goes marching on! — Glory, glory, hallelujah…

 
It wasn’t the Lord who trampled out slavery. It was abolitionist John Brown. The song which roused Union forces as they marched in the Civil War was JOHN BROWN’S BODY. The lyrics were retooled by Julia Ward Howe as “Mine eyes have seen the glory”, rededicated to God, because Osawatomie John Brown was a domestic terrorist don’t you know.

Former president George W. Bush may have been drunk as he danced on the somber occasion of the memorial to the Dallas police killed by modern avenger Micah Johnson. But Dubya, alone among the traitor crew, let us see the true spirit of mockery that Howe’s makeover propaganda represents. Servicemen gave their lives for an honorable cause while their rulers converted their anthem, an appreciation for a true moral example, into praise for entrenched higher authority.

Today our leaders let fellow unrepentant war criminals bite their thumbs at us fools. The old abolitionist’s unquenched passion should haunt us still, if we weren’t robbed of his memory: “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave–”

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave.
John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave.
John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in his grave.
His soul goes marching on!

Those are the Goddamn lyrics.

Anniversaries can have meaning

They’re trotting out the geezers to remember Pearl Harbor, like the Maine and the Alamo before it –but not the USS Liberty, or Salvator Allende’s 9-11. Since they show no reticence beating memorialized horses, I’ll commemorate a real tragic anniversary. John Brown was hanged December 2, 1859, one hundred and fifty years ago, by craven assholes whose descendants still will not own up to their inhumanity.
Osawatomie Brown

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.

John Brown Obama vs Barack Lincoln

John BrownIn their quest to muddy Barack Obama by his association with Weatherman Bill Ayers, some right wing bloggers dug up a copy of the old SDS/ Weathermen zine OSAWATOMIE which Ayers and company published and distributed while on the lam. What could the title mean, the blimp-necks wondered…

Googling “Osawatomie” revealed it was a town in Missouri associated with the abolitionist terrorist John Brown, who ultimately led the ill-fated armed insurrection against slavery at Harper’s Ferry, which sparked the Civil War and finally decided the matter. The reich-wing bloggers were certain this was the meaningful link, “there is no other Osawatomie listed on the map, anywhere,” one blogger assured readers.

If they had looked inside the first issue, on the inside cover, they’d have found the explanation for why Students for a Democratic Society, frustrated with the false promise of non-violent resistance, had chosen to honor John Brown:

Inset: In 1856, at the Battle of Osawatomie, Kansas, John Brown and 30 other abolitionists, using guerrilla tactics, beat back an armed attack by 250 slavery supporters, who were trying to make Kansas a slave state. This was a turning point in the fight against slavery. For this, John Brown was given the name “Osawatomie” by his comrades.

While some today are excited to paint Barack Obama’s face over the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, I wish it had been John Brown whose example might have inspired Obama. Abraham Lincoln bent to the eventual will of the American people to emancipate the slaves, but it was Brown who led the way.