"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

John Brown's Daughter Annie on the Harper's Ferry Raiders and Her Father's Detractors


"The men hoped that they would come out alive.  Some were more earnest in the work than others.  They were all men.  Heroes are made out of men.  People who never did a heroic deed themselves are very particular as to how heroes behave."

Source:  Annie Brown Adams, Petrolia, Calif., interviewed by Katherine Mayo, Oct. 2, 1908.  Transcription fragment in "The Raider's Foreknowledge of the Act" folder, Box 1, John Brown - Oswald Garrison Villard Papers, Columbia University Library.

“Moral suasion and non-resistance are excellent doctrines to preach in times of peace. But often in troublous times, some one has to fight for peaceand fight hard too. And then endure the remarks that are made by the carpet knights and quill-drivers who were not in the fray but stayed peacefully at home enjoying the after benefits derived from other's exertions. I am not trying to apologize for my father or his friends (followers is a better word) but to show you what, from their point of view, led on to Pottawatomie.

Source: Annie Brown Adams, Petrolia, Calif., to Oswald G. Villard, Mar. 25, 1908, in Annie Brown Adams folder, Box 1, John Brown – Oswald Garrison Villard Papers, Columbia University.

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