Digital Commonwealth

John Brown: Correspondence relating to John Brown and the raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Boston Public Library

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This collection contains correspondence relating to the abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859), specifically the unsuccessful armed slave rebellion he led at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown was captured and convicted of both murder and treason. He was hanged on December 2, 1859.

Collection dates range from 1847 to 1904, with bulks dates between 1858 and 1860. Letters concern such matters as raising money in support of the raid and Brown’s subsequent trial; issues with Hugh Forbes and preparations for the uprising; the aftermath of the failed raid; and the rescue attempts made for Aaron Dwight Stevens and John Doy. Correspondents include Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, John Brown, Samuel Gridley Howe, and John W. LeBarnes. The majority of the letters are addressed to Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Locations in this Collection: