"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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Thursday, December 22, 2016

About John Brown: Remembrances by Frederick Douglass and Richard Hinton



"It must be admitted that Brown assumed tremendous responsibility in making war upon the peaceful people of Harper's Ferry, but it must be remembered also that in his eye a slave-holding. community could not be peaceable, but was, in the nature of the case, in one incessant state of war. To him such a community- was not more sacred than a band of robbers : it was the right of anyone to assault it by day or night. He saw no hope that slavery would ever be abolished by moral or political means: he knew,  he said, 'the proud and hard hearts of the slave-holders, and that they never would consent to give up their slaves, till they felt a big stick about their heads.'"  

Frederick Douglass, Storer College Address (1881)


“The purpose [of the Harper’s Ferry raid] was not that of insurrection, technically speaking, but to make slavery unsafe, by showing how it could be uptorn and disturbed through the efforts of a few resolute men.”

Richard Hinton, “About John Brown,” Hyde Park Herald, 18 April 1885.

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