"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, January 13, 2009

John Brown Year 2009 Events Begin!
-special contribution by Jean Libby (Palo Alto, Calif.), John Brown scholar and founder/leading spirit of ALLIES FOR FREEDOM

1. Allen, Tex., to Manassas, Va.; Schenectady, N.Y. to Saratoga, Calif.

February 7, 7:00 P.M. Allen Public Library, Allen, Texas, 309 North Allen Drive, 75013

The John Brown Symposium, featuring:

*Alice Mecoy, John Brown descendant “John Brown, my father and family remembered” http://johnbrownkin.blogspot.com/

*Donnie Ray Albert, opera singer (portraying Frederick Douglass in Kirke Mechem’s John Brown Opera )

*Evan Carton, John Brown scholar “The extended family of John Brown, abolitionist” author of Patriotic Treason; John Brown and the Soul of America

(Sponsored by the Allen Public Library)

2. February 26, 7:00 P.M. Old Manassas Courthouse (Virginia), 9248 Lee Ave.

“Newby Family and Harper’s Ferry, 1859”

Dr. Philip J. Schwarz, historian, presents the touching story about Dangerfield Newby’s desperate attempts to free his wife, who was enslaved at Brentville, Va., which lead to his prominent role in John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry Raid in 1859.

(This event and exhibit is co-sponsored by the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and the Prince William-Manassas Park Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.)

[Allies for Freedom editor’s note: Now is the time to gather the information from everyone’s research about Dangerfield and Harriett Newby. Please share your evidence with Dr. Schwarz, who is the author of “The Newby Families in Virginia and Ohio” in Migrants Against Slavery, Virginians & the Nation. All roads are leading to Manassas on February 26. Public historian Deborah A. Lee is organizing a carpool.]

Additionally, in August 2009 (date to be announced) the Black History Committee of the Thomas Balch Library will present a program of the aria, “Dear Husband,” by Kirke Mechem, the words of Harriett to Dangerfield in the letters that were delivered to John Brown’s headquarters in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The program will be in Warrenton, Virginia – the homeplace of Harriett Newby and descendants.

3. February 27 – 28 Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.

The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. presents its annual conference events and workshops, among which which will be featured our own Jean Libby's singular and definitive presentation, “John Brown Photo Chronology.” This workshop participatory critical review will take place on Saturday, February 28, from 10:45 to 11:45 A.M. (PLEASE NOTE: Jean's exhibition is scheduled in Harpers Ferry from July to October, 2009!)
The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. researches, preserves, and retells New York's regional history of the Underground Railroad, highlighting the role of African-American freedom seekers and local abolitionists.

4. March 6 (time to be announced). Saratoga Historical Museum, Saratoga, Calif., 60 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, 20450

Mary Brown To Be Honored

The Saratoga History Museum will debut a personal version of of Harper's Ferry through the eyes of one-time Saratoga resident Mary Brown and some of her children. Mary Brown, second wife of Abolitionist John Brown moved to California after his death to begin a new life. The museum's archives will provide a poignant portrait of the family. The exhibit opens March 6 in the Museum and includes items never before exhibited. [from the January 2009 Foundation Newsletter]

Additionally: South Bay Civil War Round Table people met Paul Keesey, a direct descendant of John and Mary Brown through Annie Brown at the photo workshop on November 25, 2008. The cryptic reference is to the donation of vintage photos of Annie Brown and Bertha Cook (her daughter, his aunt) that Mr. Keesey announced to the group. This family branch was the source of the recent public recovery of the first daguerreotype of John Brown (Augustus Washington, 1846 or 1847) that was purchased by the Hallmark Foundation for the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City in December 2007.

--special contribution of Jean Libby to John Brown the Abolitionist (13 Jan. 2009)

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