Few figures hold as mythic a place in America's historical
consciousness as John Brown. A fervent abolitionist, his New
England reserve tempered by a childhood on the Ohio frontier, Brown
advocated arming fugitive slaves to fight for their freedom, an
idea that impressed Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and
Henry David Thoreau. In 1855, answering the call of his five sons
to join them in the desperate struggle for freedom in the new
territories, John Brown became a hero of "Bleeding Kansas." When he
returned east, the fiery leader launched his ambitious campaign to
rouse the slaves to freedom with a raid on the federal arsenal at
Harpers Ferry in 1859.
Labeled a madman for his failed military adventure, and
repudiated even by prominent antislavery leaders, Brown was tried
in a Virginia court and sentenced to hang for treason and sundry
other crimes. In John Brown: Legend Revisited, the eminent
historian Merrill D. Peterson brings the same blend of sharp-eyed
analysis and narrative elegance to bear on Brown's legacy that he
has used to unravel the images of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham
Brown's reputation has undergone a series of tectonic shifts
since he met his death on the gallows just before the Civil War.
Southerners viewed his exploits with apprehension, seeing Harpers
Ferry as a harbinger of servile insurrection, while Brown's
eloquence before the court won him sympathy in the North and
confirmed his place there as a hero and martyr. Thoreau, the author
of passive resistance, wrote of Brown as a man of conscience.
Perhaps most important historically, Brown's exploits convinced
Southerners that Lincoln's election meant secession and a call to
Peterson gives us Brown in his own day, but he also shows how
the flaming abolitionist warrior's image, celebrated in art,
literature, and journalism, has shed some of the infamy conferred
by "Bleeding Kansas" to become a symbol of American idealism and
fervor to activists along the political spectrum. And so in the
civil rights battles of the twentieth century, Brown became a hero
to African Americans.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!