Popular Culture Has Misrepresented John Brown!
by Grady Atwater
|Of the twelve bonafide|
images we have of John
Brown, only one shows
him wearing a beard
|Raymond Massey as Brown in|
"Santa Fe Trail" (1940)--
one of the worst and most
John Brown is also often thought to have been over 6 feet tall, when in reality he was 5-foot, 9-inches tall. The reason for this conclusion was that John Brown was much taller than most people in the 1850s, and he was commonly described as being very tall by his contemporaries. In the modern mind, “very tall” means over 6 feet tall. He was tall by mid-19th century standards but was of average height by modern standards.
|This 20th century postcard reflects the image|
of Brown as an angry, violent man
|Brown did not force his family's|
support--to the contrary, they were
"all in" on his antislavery purposes,
and paid dearly for it.
John Brown’s family is often thought to have followed him due to Brown’s domineering personality and actions, but in reality, Brown’s wife and children stood beside him and his abolitionist crusade by choice and voluntary loyalty.
Brown did not force his wife and children to make the sacrifices they did for him out of fear of incurring Brown’s wrath, but because they shared his abolitionist beliefs, and they were willing to stand up beside Brown of their own free wills.
|Grady Atwater is the site administrator|
of the John Brown Museum and
State Historic Site in
John Brown is often misrepresented in movies and television, which commonly pander to commonly held misconceptions about a man who changed the course of American history, and it is vital to know the real John Brown, not the movie and television version.
Source: Grady Atwater, "Popular culture often misrepresents the real John Brown Story." Osawatomie Graphic [Osawatomie, Kan.], 21 Oct. 2015.