"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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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Note This--
"We Know Better Now": Wendell Phillips Remembers John Brown in 1863

In 1859, Wendell Phillips eulogized John Brown at the time of his burial at Brown's Adirondack farm near Lake Placid, N.Y.  Four years later, when the nation was in the midst of civil war, he spoke at the Cooper Union in New York City.  In that speech he invoked Brown once again. . .

"Four years ago this month I had the honor to assist in giving the body of John Brown to the keeping of the hills he loved.  Selfishness, which calls itself Conservatism, sneered at his life as a ridiculous failure, and some men who called themselves his friends, excused his attempt on the ground that he was a lunatic.  We know better now."

Wendell Phillips, Cooper Union Speech, Dec. 22, 1863, from Pittsburgh Gazette, 25 Dec. 1863, p. 2.

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