They Did Too Support John Brown
--a few quick comments to The Washington Times
Rick Britton's article [Washington Times, 10 Aug.] about the abolitionist John Brown at Harper's Ferry is appreciated and reasonably well done, except for the contention that "not a single slave joined him in his cause." Biographers and scholars of Brown and the raid like myself, Jean Libby, Hannah Geffert and others have challenged the longstanding assumption of historians--based mainly on the testimony of slaveholders and southern whites at the time, that enslaved blacks did not support Brown's effort. But there is actually a good bit of primary evidence that a significant number of slaves turned out, or at least remained on the periphery of the town, stifled because Brown delayed in leaving Harper's Ferry. The old abolitionist was far more effective than conventional historians have acknowledged. But their bias is being challenged and overturned by bonafide research.
Louis DeCaro Jr.