Apr. 28, 2017

In His Words, My Voice Project Uplift Literacy: The Portable Frederick Douglass, Day Three

Douglass Monthly, November 1859
Captain John Brown Not Insane

“Douglass was a close friend of John Brown and supported his militancy. But when Brown asked Douglass to join him on the Harpers Ferry raid, part of a scheme to free the slaves, Douglass declined because he predicted (accurately) that it would fail. Most of the raiders were captured or killed, and many Northerners called Brown insane. In this piece Douglass defends his friend, likening him to the biblical Samson and the heroes of Bunker Hill.”

All of my history books in school depicted John Brown visually as a crazed individual. Hey, he had to be wanted all the slaves free and was willing to put his life on the line to accomplish that goal. The reason for this depiction was simply to appease those in our society that felt that white supremacy was the way of the world. John Brown's actions at Harpers Ferry and in the State of Kansas ran counter to that point. Listen as Frederick Douglass discusses his friend and comrade, John Brown.