"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

Search This Blog & Links

Translate

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How History Professors Mislead People: The Case of Joseph C. Morton vs. John Brown

According to the byline of his recent article in the Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Joseph C. Morton is professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University and author of numerous articles and books on American political history.  I have most readily found two of his books on Amazon.com, Shapers of the Great Debate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Biographical Dictionary (Greenwood Press, 2005), and The American Revolution (Greenwood Press, 2003).

Unlike the inevitable John Brown-hating bloggers and journalists who periodically contaminate the internet with ignorant, unstudied, and bigoted articles about John Brown, I believe that Prof. Morton, a scholar and expert on early U.S. history, probably intended to contribute a popular and useful article in remembrance of Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, 151 years ago.  His piece appeared on the 18th under the awkward title, “John Brown forfeit his life to end slavery.”   Unfortunately, Prof. Morton’s’ article, although thoughtful at points, suffers from errors of fact as well as bias. 

[The complete entry is available only in the forthcoming book, John Brown: Emancipator]


1 comment:

James said...

An excellent piece. Very well argued.
I wonder if you made any attempt to contact Professor Morton to enlighten him about the inaccuracies in his article?