History, Research, and Current Themes

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

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Bulletin Board--

Filmmaker's Documentary to Explore John Brown's Activities in Iowa

Kelly Gallagher, a candidate in the MFA program at the University of Iowa, is working on a short film about the Maxson house in Springdale, Iowa and the John Brown episode.  Gallagher primarily produces handcrafted animations and animated docs, but her John Brown film will be a live-action documentary.  We look forward to seeing the finished film, which explores a chapter of the old man's story that is not often discussed.

John Brown in Iowa - Teaser 2 from Kelly Gallagher on Vimeo.

Jean Libby's John Brown Photo Chronology Revised 2014-2015 at the African American Museum and Library of Oakland [CA] October 16

Researching and reproducing the photographs of John Brown the abolitionist is a lengthy project of historian Jean Libby, a retired community college history instructor who publishes in the name Allies for Freedom.   

Exhibition of sixteen different photo portraits of John Brown at the African American Museum and Library of Oakland (AAMLO) on October 16, 2014 is presented as a workshop for public information and participation.  The photo history reveals strong interest in the new technology by Brown and his friends seeking replication of the images and facsimile signatures to advance the cause of ending slavery and establishing equal rights and citizenship to the liberated people. 

Jean Libby has written and published three books about Brown and his African American supporters since 1979.  Since 2006 Libby has researched and published on the history of John Brown’s family in California.  Mary Brown is central to the continuation of her husband’s legacy of antiracism with community activities and association with his photographs and art. 

The Photo Chronology took root with the contribution of forensic analysis in 2002 and publication by The Daguerreian Society in 2004.  Research and analysis continues for revision of her 2009 exhibition created for the 150th anniversary of the John Brown raid in Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. 

In September 2014 Jean traveled to central New York, eastern Ohio, and western Pennsylvania in search of additional photographs history.  The AAMLO event on October 16 synthesizes her findings in preparation for revised publication.

The African American Museum and Library of Oakland is located at   659 14th Street Oakland, CA  94612    (510) 637-0200 

Please contact AAMLO for further information on the October 16 event from 6 to 8 p.m.  

Grady Atwater on the Battle of Osawatomie

"The Battle of Osawatomie was an important battle, for it was the largest battle during the conflict over slavery during the Bleeding Kansas era. The battle built the courage of the Free State forces to stand and fight proslavery forces in Kansas Territory. John Brown made the decision to start his abolitionist crusade as he watched Osawatomie burn when John Reid’s proslavery militia men sacked and burned the town.  John Brown and 30 to 45 Free State guerillas battled John Reid and 250 to 400 proslavery guerillas in modern day John Brown Memorial Park on Aug. 30, 1856. By later Civil War standards, it was a skirmish, but by the standards of guerilla warfare, the Battle of Osawatomie was a large battle. . . .

To read the entire article visit Grady Atwater, “Abolitionists more determined after Battle of Osawatomie.” Osawatomie Graphic, 24 Sept. 2014

Grady Atwater is site administrator of the John Brown Museum and State Historic Site.

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