This week in 1859

November 30th, 2012 by admin

“No, I am ready at any time; but do not keep me needlessly waiting.”

— John Brown, convicted of treason, hanging, Virginia.
Executed December 2, 1859

Brown, a controversial figure in American history, has been called both a mass murderer and “the man who killed slavery.” Brown, a stalwart abolitionist, was brought to trial for his raid on Harper’s Ferry, a town in what is now West Virginia, then a federal arsenal. His attack had resulted in the deaths of five men.

A popular marching tune of the time was set to lyrics, which included the line “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave. His soul is marching on!” This song became “John Brown’s Body” and was later adapted into the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” with its popular “Glory, glory, hallelujah” bridge.

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