John Brown

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Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army

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On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of eighteen raiders descended on Harpers Ferry. In an ill-fated attempt to incite a slave insurrection, they seized the federal arsenal, took hostages, and retreated to a fire engine house where they barricaded themselves until a contingent of US Marines battered their way in on October 18.
The raiders were routed, and several were captured. Soon after, they were tried, convicted, and hanged. Among Brown's fighters were five African American men--John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, and Osborne Perry Anderson--whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader and who, even today, are little remembered. Only Anderson survived, later publishing the lone insider account of the event that, most historians agree, was a catalyst to the catastrophic American Civil War that followed.
Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and raised, how they came together at this fateful time and place, and the legacies they left behind. It is an American story that continues to resonate.

John Brown Photo Chronology Catalog of the Exhibition at Harpers Ferry 2009

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John Brown used photographs to raise funds and recruit followers to fight for liberation of slaves.
Since publication and exhibition in 2009 there are new discoveries of a John Brown daguerreotype and a tintype. There were sixteen original portrait sittings. This full-color catalog of the exhibition with supplement adds many historic details and context of his life and movements.

Most of Brown's his original portraits were daguerreotypes. The prints are as close as possible to the original source, resulting in detail that is astonishing when compared with the familiar renditions in textbooks and the Internet.
Abolitionist and Free-State emigration to Kansas sponsors of several of the sittings wanted to utilize his charismatic force evident in the new medium.

The author/curator describes the practices of photography at the time, such as painted photographs, photographs projected onto canvas, as well as making reproducible negatives from the single-image daguerreotype with original photography copyright.

Association of some photographers with the Underground Railroad shows compelling evidence of John Brown s motivation and actions. Others were inventors and creators of new processes and techniques, which John Brown eagerly adapted, just as he wanted the newest weapons
Major collections of John Brown papers and artifacts are described by historians and archivists for readers who want to look for John Brown in their travels or research, and online. The definitive aspect of the exhibition and catalog is the dispersal of the early photographs into many institutional collections, which in turn copyright and reproduce them. This process is respected.

The catalog is revised with ten supplementary pages based on new research in September 2014.

John Brown to James Brown: The Little Farm Where Liberty Budded, Blossomed, and Boogied

$21.95 - $25.95
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John Brown to James Brown delves into a distinctively American saga as it unfolds on one small piece of farm property in rural Western Maryland. Commonly known as John Brown's Farm because of the role it played in John Brown's raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, this site was a music mecca to many young African Americans during the 50s and 60s. The little-known story of the music scene at Kennedy Farm where many giants of rhythm and blues performed during their early years --including James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, the Drifters, and scores of others. These stories, intertwined with those of a gifted promoter and thousands of young people who experienced early R&B music at John Brown's Farm, bring to life an ideal that heralded in America's founding documents and still beats in the heart of mankind today---liberty! Hardback 295 pages

John Brown's Raid Handbook

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Revised in 2017, this handbook contains the day-by-day narration of Brown’s insurrection, those who were involved, details of the trial, and what happened to John Brown and his men after the raid. Published on the 150th anniversary of the raid, more than a hundred photographs, maps and historic images chronicle the account. Includes suggested reading.  Paperback, 111 pages.

MAGNET John Brown Raid Anniversary

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MUG John Brown Raid Anniversary

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Practical Dreamer Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform

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Gerrit Smith may have been the least-known national leader of the American 19th century. A multi-billionaire by today s standards, he chose to live in a small, rural hamlet in Central New York state.

His reach was long: he was a champion for women s rights, temperance, and most notably, the fight to end slavery and racial discrimination. The long list of visitors to his home in tiny Peterboro, New York included Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth.

In this landmark biography that is destined to become a favorite of researchers and historians, Norman Dann paints a vibrant portrait of Smith based on thousands of letters, poems, and speeches Smith gave to and received from those he worked with and against in his lifelong crusade for freedom and equality.

T-Shirt LS John Brown Raid SM

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T-Shirt SS John Brown 1859 Raid Small

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Tea Towel John Brown

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Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown

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More than two centuries after his birth and almost a century and a half after his death, the legendary life and legacy of John Brown go marching on. Variously deemed martyr, madman, monster, terrorist, and saint, he remains one of the most controversial figures in America's history. Brown's actions in Kansas and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, provided major catalysts for the American Civil War, actions that continue today to evoke commendation or provoke condemnation.

Through the prisms of history, literature, psychology, criminal justice, oral history, African American studies, political science, film studies, and anthropology, Terrible Swift Sword offers insights not only into John Brown's controversial character and motives, but also into the nature of a troubled society before, during, and after the Civil War. The discussions include reasons why Brown's contemporaries supported him, attempts to define Brown using different criteria, analyses of Brown's behavior, his depiction in literature, and examinations of the iconography surrounding him.

The interdisciplinary focus marshalled by editor Peggy A. Russo makes Terrible Swift Sword unique, and this, together with the popular mythology surrounding the legend of John Brown, will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in this turbulent moment in American history.Paul Finkelman is Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He is the author of many articles and books, including His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid and the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference Peggy Russo is an assistant professor of English at the Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. She has published in Shakespeare Bulletin, The Southern Literary Journal, Journal of American Culture, Shakespeare and the Classroom, and Civil War Book Review.

The Strange Story of Harper's Ferry with Legends of the Surrounding Country

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Barry brings alive the characters of Harpers Ferry from his first hand accounts from 1840 to 1905. He tells how he lived among the townsfolk and he gives accounts of John Brown's Raid, the Civil War, the floods, and tales of the people who lived them.Paperback, 200 pages

To Purge This Land with Blood

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Nearly one hundred fifty years after his epochal Harpers Ferry raid to free the slaves, John Brown is still one of the most controversial figures in American history. In 1970, Stephen B. Oates wrote what has come to be recognized as the definitive biography of Brown, a balanced assessment that captures the man in all his complexity. The book is now back in print in an updated edition with a new prologue by the author.