"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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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jim and Lisa Gilbert, Chatham, Ontario, Win the Henry Clay Pate Award

The board of directors of this blog, John Brown the Abolitionist, are happy to announce that Jim and Lisa Gilbert, Ontario, Canada, are the first recipients of the "Henry Clay Pate Award" for their consistent and unwavering devotion to the demeaning and misrepresentation of John Brown. The Gilberts, self-professed "local historians," have written a number of articles for the Chatham Daily News about John Brown's activities there in 1858, along with a recent article about black leader, Martin Delany, in which they once more found opportunity to publish their determined screed that Brown's plans were "foolish, dangerous, and hopelessly misguided."

The Henry Clay Pate Award is named for pro-slavery advocate Pate (1832-64), a Virginian who was captured in Kansas by John Brown in 1856, and afterward published a screed that misrepresented the fact that he had been taken by Brown and a considerably smaller group of devoted free state warriors. Pate subsequently traveled back and forth between Virginia and the Kansas territory to raise money for the pro-slavery side. After Brown was captured at Harper's Ferry in 1859, Pate rushed to visit him in his Charlestown jail cell in order to gloat. With the pro-slavery side's failure in Kansas, by 1860 Pate had settled back in the Old Dominion. When the great slave masters' rebellion exploded on a national scale in 1861, he joined the Confederate army to support the cause of broad scale African enslavement and white supremacy. Arrogant and brash, Pate was disliked by Confederate officers, including J.E.B. Stuart. In May 1864, Pate took a shiny, hot northern bullet in the head during the Battle of Yellow Tavern (Virginia). Buried by his Confederate colleagues, thus he died as he had lived, on the wrong side of history.

The Award named for Pate is inspired by his determination to misrepresent John Brown by less than factual means and his opportunism in taking advantage of Brown's imprisonment to further disdain him. Congratulations Jim and Lisa.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"I Will Continue to Advocate for North Country Assets": Assemblywoman Sayward's Response

Almost immediately after receiving my communication (see 2/25), Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward responded with the following email. We appreciate her prompt response and trust that she and other state representatives will fight for the John Brown Farm, particularly now that it has been announced that Governor Patterson will not be seeking election in the upcoming gubernatorial race.

Rev. DeCaro,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns. This is, of course, a very tough budget negotiation period. I do appreciate the value of the John Brown farm and many other state owned sites in our region. The Governor's list does close the site, but I will continue to advocate for the North Country assets that contribute to cultural understanding and economic viability. I have seen the blog and looked at information on your writings.

Your advocacy will help immensely. I am working with the Chair of the Assembly's Tourism Committee as well as other very concerned Members. I hope you have also contacted your NYC Assembly representative, Danny O'Donnell. It is important that Members from across the state know how valuable and important the John Brown farm and other historic sites are to all New Yorkers.

Teresa

Teresa R. Sayward

Assemblywoman, 113th District

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Message to New York State Representatives from Your Blogger

Daniel J. O'Donnell (2/26)

I am writing as a scholar, clergyman, and citizen of New York State to urge you to make every effort to sustain funding for the John Brown Farm as a state historic site. As a biographer of the man, I believe that John Brown the abolitionist is one of the most important figures in 19th century U.S. history and has found increasing appreciation as scholars and historians have revisited his story with greater depth. Brown has been lauded as a vanguard egalitarian, a forerunner of the Civil Rights movement, and a heroic figure representing the highest belief that this nation should be a land of equality for all peoples under its banner. However controversial, John Brown is no longer viewed through the prejudiced, skewed lens of old, racist assumptions. As our state and nation continues on the road to global diversity, it is important that we honor the memory and contributions of those who lived, fought, and died to end slavery and racial oppression.

New York State has admirably sustained a historic commitment to maintain the John Brown Farm and land over the decades, and it would be a travesty of history and the present should our state leadership reverse this policy. The John Brown Farm is not an inordinately costly or extravagant operation and it annually functions as a place for students, scholars, and the public in general to learn and appreciate a very important chapter in our state's history.

Please do not permit this precious site to be closed down, or worse, be sold away into the hands of local entrepreneurs, who will exploit and sell this historic parcel of land to the highest bidder. Please think of the value of this site as a treasure for the posterity of our state and continue the valued policy of sustaining it. If the John Brown Farm is allowed to slip away under your watch, you will have inadvertently assisted in the debasement of our history and the robbery of a valued New York site from future generations of citizens and tourists.

We look forward with optimism to your positive response in fighting for the John Brown Farm as a state historic site.

Thank you.

Yours truly,
Rev. Louis A. DeCaro Jr., Ph.D.
Don't Let Lake Placid Turn John Brown's Front Yard into a Parking Lot!
A Missive from Our Friend Naj Wikoff

Yesterday, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward to the Arts, Parks & Tourism Committee that the Town of North Elba is willing to take over John Brown State Park. They applauded the news until it was pointed out to them that the Town wants to turn part of the farm lands into a parking lot and location for sports facilities. That surprised and confused them.

It is critical that letters be sent immediately to the Committee co-Chairs Assemblyman Englebright and Senator Serrano that the Park must remain in State ownership, must remain intact and must remain open. If the Town is willing to care for the grounds, meaning mowing the lawns and keeping the grounds clean, that would be a good partnership, put that State oversight is vital to protect and properly interpret the collection, gravesite and buildings.

Note Town Supervisor Roby Politi's remarks in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: "If we ever bid for another Olympic games in the future and had to expand our facilities, we'd be able to extend our facilities onto that property," he said. "We're trying to ensure the sustainability of our venues and our history."

-Naj

Call and/or leave messages for these NY State Officials on their websites [by clicking on their names]. Urge them to keep the John Brown Farm under state control and to find the minimal resources needed to sustain it as a functioning historic site.

Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Chair Assembly Tourism Committee
518-455-4804

Senator Jose Serrano, Jr., Chair Senate Tourism Committee
518-455-2795

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward [JB Barn is in her district], member of the Assembly Tourism Committee
518-455-5565

Monday, February 22, 2010

Statements Regarding the John Brown Farm and New York State Government

My position is that New York State should be forced to come up with the very tiny money that is required to keep the site open. Local, and larger national, forces can form a friends group with contributions and a local bank account that can be used for occasional crisis moments, and as a fund for contributions to site improvements, etc. (That is as a supplement and not a substitute for state funds.) The John Brown Society would, of course, be proud to be a dues paying member of such a friends group.

Privatization plans, no matter how well intended, open the road to possible sales of parts of the property. We should fight these ideas. The site should continue to be maintained as an entire site, and run by New York State.

Larry Lawrence, Chairman, The John Brown Society


Thank you everyone for all of your emails, phone calls, letters and updates on what is being done to fight for the survival of the John Brown Farm. It is amazing what can be accomplished by a few dedicated souls.

I have heard about support from Roy Innis and Joe Lovece of C.O.R.E. Dr E Faye Washington and Dick Gregory have tossed their hats into the ring, and are writing to the Governor and others about the importance of the farm. Danny Glover has been contacted and asked to assist. I have calls into Hillary and Bill Clinton to alert them to this travisty and try to get their support. Scholars, historians, Brown Family members, musicians, and laypeople are all working together to keep the farm open to the public.

To each and every one of you, I say THANK YOU for your help in saving a site that is not only important to me personally, but is also important to American history.

Please continue to update me on your status. Together we CAN SAVE THE FARM!

Alice Keesey Mecoy, Great-Great-Great Granddaughter of John Brown

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John Brown Farm in Peril? N.Y. may close some historic sites

Call or write NOW!

Senator Betty Little

little@senate.state.ny.us
506 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2811

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward
sayward@senate.state.ny.us
LOB 940
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5565

=========

Governor David Paterson's budget plan calls for cutting almost $30 million from the state's parks and recreation office. That would mean the closure of 16 parks in the Albany-Saratoga area. Two of those sites are in Essex County. The Crown Point historic site and the John Brown Farm would be forced to close if the Governor's plan is finalized.


Gov’s office says fate of parks like John Brown Farm, Crown Point Historic Site not yet decided

LAKE PLACID - Although there has been talk of lists of parks that could close in New York's proposed 2010-2011 budget, a spokesman for Gov. David Paterson stressed Monday that nothing has been finalized.
The Times Union of Albany reported Sunday that the John Brown Farm State Historic Site is on a list of parks that could be "closed or curtailed" if the legislature doesn't approve a proposed transfer of $5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund to a park operating fund, or refund it from another source. The Crown Point Historic Site is also on this list.

However, Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said the state Division of the Budget and parks officials are still working on plans to meet the governor's savings targets, and talk of closing specific parks is premature.

"There is no list that exists right now of state parks that are going to be closed," Hook said. "Anybody who is distributing a list (to) different publications of what they say are the list of parks that are going to be closed is simply not accurate."

New York's proposed 2010-2011 budget includes cutting the operating budget of the state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation by 16 percent, or $29 million. Parks Commissioner Carol Ash said at a budget hearing last month that some parks will likely close, reduce their hours or increase fees as a result of the budget, but didn't say which ones. At least two media outlets on Long Island are reporting that some parks there are on a closure list.

State Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, requested a list of parks that could close last week, said spokesman Dan Mac Entee, and was told at the time that no such list was available.

"It's clear that someone is giving lists to reporters, but these are not accurate lists," Hook said. "There's nothing final; a plan is still being developed. Any lists that have been published, they certainly haven't been lists that have been approved by the people that have the power to approve them, so they're really not even worth publishing."

Mac Entee said cuts are unavoidable, given the state of the economy, but that they can be done in a smart way.

"I think that (Little's) desire certainly would be for the agency as well as the legislature to work with any community that would be affected by a closure," Mac Entee said. "There's obviously an economic impact."

Mac Entee said legislators will be hearing, over the next several weeks, from communities that will be affected by cuts, asking for more information about the criteria used to decide where to cut or close, and discussing what to do in conference committee.

"That's why it's important we have an open public conference committee process, so that the public really understands what's happening before the budget is actually adopted," Mac Entee said.

New York's budget process has been criticized for years for the secretive "three men in a room" manner in which it is often drafted by the governor and by the leaders of the Senate and Assembly. Republicans have said the 2009-10 budget, drafted by three men who were all Democrats from New York City, was one of the most secretive in years, and most legislators on both sides of the aisle didn't see it until days before they were supposed to vote on it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Perfuming the Pig and Other Historical Lies: Paul Petersen’s Quantrill of Missouri: The Making of a Guerrilla Warrior

In my sojourning on the internet I happened to come upon an article about the pro-slavery terrorist, William Quantrill, published in The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) in 1898. My search had brought me to a reference to Brown, of course, but the peculiar claim of the author drew me down another path. In the article, the author, a former captain in the Kansas cavalry, states that Quantrill was a young associate of John Brown, becoming “one of his best men” prior a sudden “conversion” to the pro-slavery cause. According to this article, Quantrill turned against the free state side due to an “embittered mind” and because he had been betrayed by a free-state friend. Of course the notion that Quantrill had been an associate of John Brown is complete fiction. Quantrill’s appearance on the Kansas scene occurred after Brown’s death, although Quantrill knew of Brown through the jaded perspective of pro-slavery Missourians.

This untenable claim sparked a passing interest in Quantrill, particularly because I was aware that he was born in Ohio, not the South. Not willing to devote an entire afternoon to the study of historical vermin, I did find an author of interest in a quick search who appears to be a flagrant apologist of Quantrill. In an online article about Quantrill by Paul Petersen, a biographer of Quantrill, the author writes:
Everything about Quantrill's life has been greatly distorted by prejudicial historians and journalists. The hatred of his Kansas enemies and of those he fought against during the war were manifested in writings and were grossly exaggerated by those who had never come face to face with him. Only sensational claims previously heard by those who had cause to try to blacken his name because of their own political views and sectional feelings have been noted for history.
I found this an interesting claim, considering it is almost precisely what I would say is true about the way John Brown has been treated. Although I was unconvinced that Quantrill was the heroic figure portrayed in Petersen’s article, I extended my consideration to his book, Quantrill of Missouri: The Making of a Guerilla Warrior (Nashville: Cumberland House Publishing, Inc., 2003). It seemed to me that if Petersen could make such an appeal on behalf of his hero, he should at least be cognizant of the role that prejudice has played in the negative portrayal of Brown by historians and journalists over the past century. Unfortunately, Petersen proved otherwise. The very sins he decries on behalf of Quantrill are the ones he commits against John Brown.

In fact, Petersen's treatment of Brown is worthy of the worst southern screeds written in the 19th century. Petersen says that John Brown came to the Kansas territory after John Jr. wrote to request arms and ammunition, a fact true enough. But he and his brothers merely found life "difficult" in Kansas, which is why they wrote asking for weapons to fight "the pro-slavery faction" (p. 6). Were Petersen truthful with the facts, he would acknowledged that the Browns and other free state settlers were facing blunt terrorism and violence at the hands of invading pro-slavery thugs. There was no mere “pro-slavery faction” to fight—it was an invasive movement of pro-slavery terrorists.

As to Brown himself, Petersen says that he had a "curious" past, which is typical terminology for this writer. Typically, Petersen writes in a tone and uses certain terms that suggest his bias. For instance, he exaggerates Brown's business failings and lawsuits and mentions Brown having had twenty children from two marriages as if it were a mark of immorality. Petersen purports that Brown helped to fund a publication called A Call to Rebellion, which is completely unfounded. To Petersen, Brown is a leader who gathered desperate criminals with whom he plundered and murdered along the Missouri border (p. 7). Equally problematic, he writes that Brown knew all the pro-slavery thugs that he and his men killed in May 1856. This is not the case. Furthermore, Petersen provides little or no scholarly references and his narrative is evidently fraught with errors, suggesting that he is probably just as untrustworthy in his positive report concerning Quantrill.

In fact, Petersen writes with the accent of a Klansmen, particularly in his tendency to highlight and emphasize the fact that some of Brown’s associates and followers were foreigners. He mistakenly labels the great John Henrie Kagi as an Austrian (p. 19), which is not true. But even when he is correct, Petersen seems to suggest that there is something sinister about the fact that Brown would have foreigners, especially Jews, as allies—some of whom he labels quite incorrectly as “foreign anarchists” and “henchmen” (pp. 19, 20, 30).

As to Quantrill, Petersen offers little in the way of explaining or making reasonable basis for Quantrill’s passionate devotion to the pro-slavery side. Sounding like a re-warmed Confederate, Petersen writes that Quantrill foresaw the "subjugation" of the South by the North following Brown's raid (p. 20), as if the South were not conspiring to secede for years prior to the unfortunate outcome at Harper’s Ferry in 1859. Like the murderous John Wilkes Booth in the same era, Quantrill wrote in a personal letter about his disdain for the free state side, his resentment of Brown, and his utter contempt for those who saw Brown as a hero (p.21).

Petersen says that Quantrill was a Kansas settler and school teacher, which is true enough. He also acknowledges that he stood on the margins of the conflict between Missouri and free state Kansans, "a spectator of the events transpiring along the border" until he was victimized by a jayhawker (p. 17). Quantrill typically conferred with southerners about the injustices perpetrated by free state “jay-hawkers.” While there is no doubt that free state attacks took place upon pro-slavery communities, Petersen fails to acknowledge that it was pro-slavery fanaticism that brought this kind of violence down upon Missouri. The facts of history show that the free state migrants in Kansas were peaceable and ill-prepared for warfare. Free state people only took up the gun because they were left with no choice in the face of pro-slavery thugs and violence. Petersen is entitled to love the bad guys and stand on the wrong side of history, but it is hard to take him seriously in light of the fact that his analysis of the problem of slavery is non-existent in discussing Quantrill's homicidal devotion to the South.

As to Quantrill himself, Petersen writes that he “weighed the actions of the pro-slavery men against those of the free-state men and found the preponderance of unjustifiable deeds clearly against the free-state side" (p. 17). If this is true, then Quantrill was either stupid or depraved in his outlook, and the truth seems to be closer to the latter. Quantrill was not stupid. He was a school teacher, a cunning conspirator, and a loyal devotee to white supremacy. Along with a personal vendetta that he felt because of being victimized by free state raiders, the only thing that Petersen can say to explain Quantrill’s hostility toward the North was that he was embittered in mind. These strong feelings ultimately led Quantrill "to mete out his own kind of justice and revenge" (p. 18) by murdering free state settlers in Lawrence, Kansas.

However, as Petersen reveals, there was a truly malignant side in Quantrill’s character long before he became a pro-slavery terrorist and murderer. Posing as "Charly Hart," Quantrill went as far as joining the free-state side so that he could spy on his future victims and get revenge against the men who had personally harmed him and the pro-slavery side in Missouri. As a school teacher who boarded with various settlers including free state people, he was taken into the confidence and friendship of free state people whom he privately intended to destroy, As “Charly Hart,” Quantrill hid his malicious sentiments and pretended to be a free-state sympathizer, while privately blaming his free-state neighbors for all of the difficulties and denying the integrity of any newspaper reports concerning southern outrages being committed against free state people (p. 18). It is true that Brown sent John Cook to Harper's Ferry to spy out the town and work in advance of the raid; but neither Cook nor Brown intended such malice and murder as Quantrill designed.

Petersen has done anything but show a man of integrity in his portrayal of William Quantrill. Although he attempts to reason that Quantrill must have been a good man in order to have the support of Confederate soldiers, etc., this is not very convincing. An array of men won the support of Confederate officers, from Lee to Forrest, and Quantrill was far closer to Forrest than to Lee. Unlike John Brown, who was ultimately admired even by his southern captors, Quantrill never won the admiration of his foes, nor did he leave behind a redemptive story that has proven transcendent despite his critics. We may concede that in a civil conflict, crimes and deprecations may take place on either side of the conflict. But we do not concede that John Brown was one such criminal, but rather one defending himself and his family from such criminals as later personified in the person of Quantrill.

Finally, to explain Quantrill’s violent terrorism one must strike at the heart of the issue, something that Petersen and other romancers of the South invariably refuse to do. The driving force of Quantrill’s life was his racism and his devotion to white supremacy. Only strong racism can explain why he would sympathize so desperately with the pro-slavery cause when he had no personal or familial roots in southern life. Only strong racism can explain why Quantrill preferred to claim that he was born in a slave state when he was actually born in a free state. Only strong racism can explain why he hated John Brown and the free state community. Only strong racism can explain his murderous, malicious, and wicked career as an anti-free state terrorist.

One may baptize a pig in the finest perfume but that doesn’t make it any less a pig. One may dress up the devil like the angel Gabriel, but that will not make him any less sinister, nor justify a message of deceit. But this is precisely what Petersen has done, and what other apologists of the South have done. Even the best figures in history have problems, deficiencies, and question marks over their heads; yet a fair and honest treatment requires that the wheat be separated from the chaff. John Brown was a flawed man (although no more flawed than our nation's greatest heroes), but he was certainly a good one. He lived and died to see the end of slavery. William Quantrill was a villain, a man of depraved thought albeit smart and industrious in his deceit and malice. Brown killed in defense and out of necessity, and refused to pursue personal vengeance; Quantrill killed from motives of malice, revenge, and prejudice. He bemoaned the downfall of slavery and grieved for a spoiled and decadent southern society. Brown died a martyr for the oppressed and left a legacy that lovers of freedom find irresistible. Quantrill died in an ambush and left a corpse to rot with the institution of slavery itself. No one sings of Quantrill's soul "marching on" because most people with a sense of history recognize that there is little marching room in hell.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Side Note: 153 Years Ago in Albany, New York

In 1857, John Brown traveled extensively in the east to raise funds for the free state cause in Kansas. During this period he made valuable connections with abolitionists with whose assistance he segued into planning for his own anti-slavery campaign in Virginia. This image is found in the frontispiece (with inserted image of Brown's signature) in Richard D. Webb's The Life and Letters of Captain John Brown (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1861). According to Jean Libby, the singular authority on John Brown images, the frontispiece image is an albumen print based upon the original daguerreotype for which Brown sat in Albany, N.Y. in early 1857. Libby says that Webb, an Irish publisher, acquired the negative from abolitionist Samuel D. May, who himself had it made from the daguerreotype after Brown's hanging in 1859. (According to Libby's source, Brown was in Albany in February 1857; Katherine Mayo (biographer Villard's researcher) constructed a chronology that placed him there on April 28. Two visits to Albany by Brown are certainly possible, so there is no substantial reason to disregard the February 1857 date.)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

JB NEWS

Lawrence, Kansas: Exhibit on the Battle of Black Jack

Through Feb. 28, the Lawrence Public Library is hosting a traveling exhibit that depicts the story of the Battle of Black Jack. The battle, which occurred in 1856 in Douglas County, is considered by some historians to be the first battle of the Civil War. A panel discussion on John Brown and his impact on Kansas will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vt. The exhibit premiered in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., at the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid there. After its stay in Lawrence, the exhibit will continue through other sites in the Freedom’s Frontier Heritage Area.


Berkeley, Calif.: Musically Improvised Opera on John Brown

Exactly 150 years ago, in 1859, John Brown, a white/Euro-American anti-slavery abolitionist, led 21 Africans and white/Euro-Americans in a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. This American Folk-Hero has been called “the most controversial of all 19th Century Americans.”

Composer William Crossman examines this historical figure with his opera John Brown’s Truth, which runs Friday, March 12th at 8 PM at the Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, and Sunday, March 14th at 3 PM at the Eastside Cultural Center, 2277 International Blvd. in Oakland, and Sunday, April 25th at 4 PM at the Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street in San Francisco. William Crossman created the musical conception and wrote the libretto for John Brown’s Truth, the first full-length musically improvised opera. Tickets may be purchased at brownpapertickets.com, by calling (800) 838-3006, or at the door. For more information, visit www.johnbrownstruthopera.com.

John Brown’s Truth has an extraordinary cast of classical & jazz singers, musicians, dancers, and spoken-word artists. The cast includes: India Cooke, Raymond Nat Turner, Eliza O’Malley, Lewis Jordan, Akinyele Sadiq, Linda Johnson, Maria Medina, Cheryl Schwartz, Henry Mobley, Zigi Lowenberg, Lea Weinstein, William Crossman, Isabel O’Malley-Krohn, Nora Hylton, and the Linda Johnson Dancers. The musical conception includes having a different singer step into the John Brown role at the start of each new scene, with the previous John Brown singer returning to the chorus. Male and female singers of diverse ethnic backgrounds will perform the John Brown role.

In a radical departure from traditional opera, the libretto is written, but the music is not. All music—including that performed by the principals, the chorus, and the orchestra—is entirely improvised on the spot. This means that each performance of the opera is musically unique, newly recreated “in the moment.”

The opera covers selected events, all within the year 1859, in the life of anti-slavery abolitionist John Brown as he prepares and carries out his raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia and, afterwards, as he is put on trial for the raid. Though the timeline of events depicted is historically accurate, the libretto is a mostly fictionalized rendering of conversations John Brown might have had—and in some cases actually did have, according to historical reports—expressing his actual beliefs, intentions, and plans. The opera is receiving its first performances on the 150th anniversary of the very events it is depicting.

Brown’s plan was to take a large number of guns to use as defensive weapons to defend his greater plan for ending the Southern system of African slavery. That greater plan was not to foment an armed insurrection by enslaved Africans—though most history books assert that Brown did plan such an insurrection. Brown planned, instead, to create a massive “underground railroad” system similar to that established by Harriet Tubman. However, while Tubman guided smaller groups of Africans out of the South to freedom in Canada, Brown planned to guide thousands to Canada along a route of hidden Appalachian mountaintop bases. He envisioned that, as the South’s enslaved African workforce escaped, the Southern slave system would collapse. Brown’s raid failed, some of his men were killed, while he and others were captured, tried, and executed. Brown hoped his plan would prevent a Civil War, but today his raid is viewed as a pivotal event that sparked the Civil War, ending slavery.

John Brown’s Truth is a production of Mimesis, a performing arts organization, a California non-profit 501(c)(3).

For more information, images, or to arrange interviews, contact Lori Shepherd at (510) 967-4691 loriann20002000@yahoo.com

Where/When:

Friday, 03/12/2010, 8 PM, Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
Sunday, 03/14/2010, 3 PM, Eastside Cultural Center, 2277 International Blvd., Oakland
Sunday, 04/25/2010, 4 PM, Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street, San Francisco.

Cost: Friday, 03/12/2010, 8 PM, Live Oak Theatre, General $20., Students $12.
Sunday, 03/14/2010, 3 PM, Eastside Cultural Center, General $15., Youth free.

Sunday, 04/25/2010, 4 PM, Community Music Center, General $15., Students $10.