Dec. 1, 2021

December 2, 1859: Admiration and Ambivalence: Frederick Douglass and John Brown

Today on the 162nd anniversary of John Brown’s death on the gallows December 2, 1859. I will read aloud an essay written by Yale Professor David W. Blight that connects some of the dots in the relationship between John Brown and Frederick Douglass. I understand the importance and the magnitude of John Brown’s failed raid on the Federal Armory On October 16, 1859, as it relates to the searing hatred that was at the core of our nation’s division and eventually lead to the Civil War. John Brown was depicted in the history books as a crazed white man totally out of control, totally out of his senses, who had no touch of reality. Because John Brown’s reality included racial equality for black men and women. John Brown sacrificed so much to end the evils of slavery. He was willing not only to pay the ultimate price personally but he also convinced his sons to join this righteous battle. John Brown must be given his full due because he saw evil and willingly paid the ultimate price to see that evil erased. Frederick Douglass may not have agreed with his methods but understood the need for a violent uprising to end the evil system of American Slavery.