Some say he ignited the Civil War with his attempt to fire up a slave rebellion when he led the attack on the Federal Armory in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia (1859).  John Brown tried to convince Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman to join him but they didn’t.  He and his men (white and black) were caught, tried and hung.

Just returned from a day in Charlestown, West Virginia where John Brown’s trial and execution took place.  It’s not far from Harper’s Ferry.  The town is named after Charles Washington, brother of George Washington.

John Brown.  A prophet, mad man, hero or traitor?  He had a vision of the end of slavery.  I’d call that progressive, just and righteous.

It took a war, and over a half a million casualties, to finish his work.

But the work (of freedom, justice, equality, liberation) marches on. . .


Note:  “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was originally “John Brown’s Body” (“John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, but his truth keeps marching on!”)

 

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