I forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice.

“I believe that to interfere, as I have done, in the behalf of God’s despised poor is not wrong but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country who rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say, let it be done.”

John Brown, court statement on November 1st, 1859
These words were spoken by Brown after he was sentenced to death for his raid on the US Armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

“LAST MOMENTS OF JOHN BROWN”
A reproduction of Thomas Hovenden’s painting (1887) in the Metropoitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Stereoview of John Brown (1800 – 1859)

Recommended read:

John Brown, abolitionist : the man who killed slavery, sparked the Civil War, and seeded civil rights
by David West Reynolds

Order it from Amazon

Book description:

An authoritative new examination of John Brown and his deep impact on American history.

Bancroft Prize-winning cultural historian David S. Reynolds presents an informative and richly considered new exploration of the paradox of a man steeped in the
Bible but more than willing to kill for his abolitionist cause. Reynolds locates Brown within the currents of nineteenth-century life and compares him to modern terrorists, civil-rights activists, and freedom fighters. Ultimately, he finds neither a wild-eyed fanatic nor a Christ-like martyr, but a passionate opponent of racism so dedicated to eradicating slavery that he realized only blood could scour it from the country he loved. By stiffening the backbone of Northerners and showing Southerners there were those who would fight for their cause, he hastened the coming of the Civil War. This is a vivid and startling story of a man and an age on the verge of calamity.

Source for above print of engine house: 1861 edition of John W. Barber and Henry Howe’s book “Our Whole Country: Or The Past and Present of the United States, Historical and Descriptive. Illustrated by 600 engravings.”

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