Threads From The National Tapestry: Stories From The American Civil War

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036 - Avenging Angel - John Brown

March 26, 2021

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About this episode: 

The stage: the town of Alton in southern Illinois. The date of the act committed:  the 7th of November, 1837. On that Tuesday, an angry mob murdered Elijah Lovejoy, the Presbyterian minister who was the founder of the Illinois State Anti-Slave Society. Two days later, some 500 miles east in Hudson Ohio, a church congregation held a memorial service to honor the murdered activist. Owen Brown opened the gathering with a long, tearful prayer. At its conclusion, there was a long silence. Then, in the back, Owen Brown’s son rose and, stiffly, raised his right hand, then vowed, “Here before God, in the presence of these witnesses, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery.” It was 37-year-old John Brown’s first public statement on the inflammatory issue and, as time would tell, his message and actions would be ominous. And yet, on that Tuesday and in that service, this was John Brown of Hudson, Ohio.  It would take time and events to fully create the John Brown of “Bleeding” Kansas and Harpers Ferry.  From crusader to Old Testament avenging angel, this is his story.

 

Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode: 

Gerrit Smith

John Brown, Jr.

William Lloyd Garrison

Frederick Douglass

John B. Floyd

Watson Brown

 

Get The Guide:

Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.

 

Producer: Dan Irving