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John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
First EditionJonathan Earle©2008
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Taking a centered approach to a polarizing person in history, John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry presents Brown as a man whose deeply held abolitionist beliefs gradually evolved to a point where he saw violence as inevitable. Through a set of featured documents, some containing Brown's own words, the evolution of his abolitionist strategies are presented along with the symbolism his actions took on in the press, the government, and the wider culture.
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Table of Contents
Preface List of Maps and Illustrations
PART ONE. INTRODUCTION: Abolitionist, Warrior, Martyr, Prophet
Brown’s Early Life
John Brown and the Rise of Abolitionism A Radical Abolitionist
Making Kansas Bleed
Reckoning with John Brown The Harpers Ferry Raid: Dramatis Personae
PART TWO. THE DOCUMENTS
1. The Making of a Radical Abolitionist
1. John Brown, Words of Advice to the United States League of Gileadites, January 15, 1851
2. Kansas Territorial Legislature, An Act to Punish Offenses against Slave Property, 1855
3. John Brown, Letter to Wife and Children from Kansas Territory, December 16, 1855
4. Mahala Doyle and Louisa Jane Wilkinson, Accounts of the Pottawatomie Massacre, 1856
5. John Brown, An Idea of Things in Kansas, 1857
6. John Brown, John Brown’s Parallels: Letter to the Editor of the New York Tribune, 1859
2. The Raid and Trial
7. John Brown, Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States, May 8, 1858
8. Osborne Anderson, A Voice from Harpers Ferry, 1861
9. John Brown, Interview with Senator James Mason, Representative Clement Vallandigham and Others, October 18, 1859
10. Excerpts from the Trial of John Brown,1859
Opening Remarks of John Brown to the Virginia Court, October 27, 1859
John Brown’s Response to Claims of His Insanity, October 28, 1859
Last Address of John Brown to the Virginia Court, November 2, 1859
3. The Making of a Martyr
11. John Brown, Selected Prison Letters, October 21–December 2, 1859
4. Responses to John Brown’s Raid
12. Northern and Southern Newspapers React to the Raid and Trial, 1859 New Hampshire Patriot, The Harpers Ferry Affair, October 26, 1859 Petersburg (Virginia) Express, The Harpers Ferry Conspiracy, October 25, 1859 Albany, New York, Evening Journal, From the Philadelphia Press, November 30, 1859 13. Henry David Thoreau, A Plea for Captain John Brown, October 30, 1859
14. Governor Henry Wise, Message to the Virginia Legislature, December 5, 1859
15. U.S. Senate Select Committee on the Harpers Ferry Invasion, The Mason Report, June 15, 1860
16. William W. Patton, John Brown’s Body, 1862
A Chronology of John Brown and Events of the Civil War Era (1800–1865)
Questions for Consideration