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"The world needed John Brown and John Brown came, and time will do him justice." Frederick Douglass (1886)

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009



Contact: Martha Swan, Director, John Brown Lives!

518-962-4758 518-582-3341 mswan@capital.net

Naj Wikoff, Coordinator, John Brown Coming Home

518-523-2445, ext. 108 johnbrowncominghome@lakeplacid.com


December 16, 2009. Lake Placid, NY. As the sun rises over New York’s highest snow-capped mountains where abolitionist John Brown is buried, the sacrifice made by fellow Harpers Ferry raiders John A. Copeland and Shields Green will be remembered on Wednesday, December 16, with a call for 100 Anti-Slavery Conventions around New York State.

Copeland and Green were executed by the state of Virginia 150 years ago on this date for their role in John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Copeland, who was born a free black, was a twenty-five year-old student at Oberlin College in Ohio when he decided to join Brown’s small band of men. In a letter to his family penned the morning he gave his life to free the slave, he regrets not his death so much as “such an unjust institution [as slavery] should exist as the one which demands my life.”

Shields Green, born in slavery in South Carolina, first met Brown in the Rochester, NY, home of Frederick Douglass and voluntarily went to help Brown execute his Harpers Ferry plan. Described by Douglass as a man whose “courage and self respect made him quite a dignified character”, Green reportedly could have escaped capture in the October 1859 raid.

Instead, Green returned to the fray, was captured and, along with Copeland, was indicted, tried and convicted along with Brown for treason against the State of Virginia. Green and Copeland hanged from the gallows two weeks after Brown was executed on December 2, 1859.

Borrowing a chapter from their 19th century abolitionist forebears, the freedom education project John Brown Lives! and organizers of the recently completed John Brown Coming Home 150th Commemoration in Lake Placid, NY are issuing a call for 100 Anti-Slavery Conventions to be held throughout New York to combat global slavery and human trafficking that still exists in the 21st century.

More than 27 million people are held in slavery today, in nearly every country of the planet, including the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 55,000 cases of slavery have been reported in the U.S. New York State numbers among the top 4 states where slavery is a reality today.

Remembering John Copeland and Shields Green: A Note from Jean Libby

Dear friends, I am happy to forward the idea of many Antislavery Conventions for commemoration on this day by John Brown Lives!

Brenda Pitts and I have prepared biographies of John Copeland and Shields Green for the Jefferson County Black Heritage Committee who are holding a walk and vigil in Charles Town on December 16. Many local organizations are participating.

We are glad to share these with everyone for your commemorations.

Jean Libby, editor
Allies for Freedom

John Brown Theme on Sirius Satellite Radio Program, Dec. 17

The Folk Duo Magpie - Greg Artzer and Terry Leonino
Comedian and Activist - Dick Gregory
National Congress of Black Women National Chair - Dr E. Faye Williams
Direct Descendant of John Brown - Alice Keesey Mecoy

Join us as we discuss the history of John Brown, the Harpers Ferry raid, the December 2, 1859 hanging, the 150th anniversary events in West Virginia and New York, as well as highlight the modern-day battles of abolitionists.

Show: Make it Plain with Mark Thompson
Network: Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Channels: Sirius Left 146 & XM America Left 167
Date: Thursday, December 17, 2009
Time: 6:15pm EST (5:15CST)
Length: 30-45 minutes
Type: Live by phone with callers

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