That view, however, is based almost entirely on Douglass’s own accounts of the uprising. Copyright © 2020 NPR. Embracing wisdom from greats of the past we can build a new America.


Two decades later, in his third autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, the author fully spelled out his case — and provided the basis for most subsequent accounts of his connection (or lack thereof) to the Harpers Ferry raid. Although known for the rapport that fueled hit films like ‘Stir Crazy,’ the famed costars did not have the same level of chemistry off-screen. This time, Brown presented the full scope of his plan to capture the federal armory at the Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and arm the enslaved for a major insurrection. He speaks in a low conversational tone most of the time, but occasionally his tones roll out full and deep as those of an organ. On March 12, 1859, the two men met in Detroit, Michigan where they were hosted by local abolitionist, William Webb. Inspector General | Legal | Accessibility | External Link Disclaimer | USA.gov, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

The 59-year-old Brown led a party of fewer than two dozen men to attack the federal garrison in Harper’s Ferry on October 16, 1859, in an attempt to steal weapons with which to spur slave revolts. In 1861, the American Civil War began. DEGGANS: But then Brown tells Douglass of the hatred, fear and greed that lives in white slave owners' hearts. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. The history books omitted him or glimpsed over his name. Douglass’ answer to the speech’s titular question was a strong one. Get our print magazine for just $20 a year. … It was but the echo of alarm and terror of peaceful villages in Africa, startled from their slumbers at midnight a hundred years before by rapacious traders, to supply the markets of this Christian country, with slaves. After Douglass’s stay, Elizabeth Gloucester gave him a short letter to deliver to Brown. How would he have delivered this blistering but eloquent line from “Lessons of the Hour” in 1895: “Not a breeze comes to us now from the late rebellious States that is not tainted and freighted with negro blood”? But soon afterward, Douglass told a notable joke to a friendly audience in Edinburgh. The writer’s description of Fredrick Douglass’ speech on John Brown brought life to it. Douglass builds it here. The two abolitionists met at a stone quarry here, Aug. 19-21, 1859, and discussed Brown’s plans to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The Beach Boy and cult leader spent the summer of 1968 living together and dreaming about the musical possibilities that lay ahead. "When John Brown stretched forth his arm, the sky was cleared," he declared in the speech's powerful conclusion. Douglass then draws his subject close to the heart. Hearing Frederick Douglass: His Speech on John Brown.

Frederick Douglass was many things: a gifted writer, a brilliant orator, a shrewd political strategist. HAWKE: (As John Brown) I've been called crazy before, but I know there will be no friendship with the slave-holding man until he is soundly beaten, holds himself accountable and asks for forgiveness. One of Brown's captured men, John E. Cook, claimed that the orator had backed out of a promise to bring more men to the raid. LAKE PLACID — The words of Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” echoed off the walls of Corinthian Hall in Rochester on July 5, 1852. Yet one of his owners had taught him to read and provided him with books, including one of classic speeches. Thank you.

Some Unions Are Saying It’s Time.

Frederick Douglass, 1870, about age 52. “… reason teaches us to contemplate the John Brown raid in the light of eternity and eternal justice.”.

It followed up the statement from Douglass with two (of the 102) letters found in Brown’s carpetbag upon capture. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Frederick Douglass at Harpers Ferry. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/frederick-douglass

Help him out. The speech depicts an America stuck in a channel not living up to the lofty goals of its founders.

… Blessed are the peacemakers. Brown never saw this historic day, but Douglass did and continued to work throughout Reconstruction. The pivotal moment came in late August 1859, when Douglass met Brown in a quarry near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (sixty miles north of Harpers Ferry, then in Virginia).

So his talks would have had a classic structure. A half-century later, Nellie told the New York Evening Post that the condemned figurehead had bemoaned the “great opportunity lost” at Harpers Ferry, and claimed, “That we owe to the famous Mr. Frederick Douglass.” And historian Louis A. DeCaro Jr reports that Brown’s family was similarly sour about Douglass’s actions.

“The stories are tragic. And Brown, who drew praise for refusing to implicate associates while awaiting his death sentence, reportedly complained to a friend about the "great opportunity lost" at Harpers Ferry, adding, "that we owe to the famous Mr. Frederick Douglass.". Douglass, a former slave, had first-hand knowledge of the cruelty black people endured within the institution. Frederick Douglass, John Brown. I’m so proud to know I had an ancestor that spoke on the atrocities committed against my ancestors.✌. During the conflict, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which gave “free” legal status to over 3 million black people. The day he was hung, there was only one silver lining. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. The New York Herald, the nation’s leading newspaper and a Democratic Party organ, called him a “poor, pitiful coward,” while the kindred Brooklyn Daily Eagle contrasted “the Roman firmness” Brown displayed in court with “the flight of the skulking and cowardly negro, Douglass, who promised to stand by him.” (Brown’s bravery earned him many admirers among the pro-slavery crowd, most notably John Wilkes Booth, who attended his execution.).

It resulted in his capture, a highly-publicized trial, and execution by hanging. One of the most painful incidents connected with the name of this old hero is the attempt to prove him insane. Yet it was Brown, a white man with a record of failed business interests and unyielding religious conviction, who seemingly came off as the one more determined to end the cruel institution of slavery that day. It was a major step in realizing both Brown and Douglass’ dream. “Aside from the late tremendous war, I know of no event in all the thirty years of conflict with slavery which will be remembered longer, or make a more thrilling chapter in American History than the Harper’s Ferry raid,” he said. At his death in 1895, he was one of the most influential Americans of the 19th century. They are unjust. He had heard of him, especially from other Black abolitionists whose voices, when speaking of Brown, “would lower to a whisper.” At that meeting, Brown unfolded a … Formerly enslaved Douglass was inspired by the white abolitionist’s passion, … Prints and Photographs Division. An Address by Frederick Douglass, at the Fourteenth Anniversary of Storer College, Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, May 30, 1881 (Dover, NH: Morning Star Job Printing House, 1881), 9, 27. In Douglass' recollection, Brown brushed off the warning that he was "going into a perfect steel trap" from which "he would never get out alive" and pressed forward with the attempt to recruit his friend: "When I strike the bees will begin to swarm, and I shall want you to help hive them.".
For the Northern pro-slavery press in the fall of 1859, there was little doubt about Douglass’s involvement.

Douglass’s Monthly, November 1859. Second, we know that he was deeply moved by black spirituals as a youth and that he was licensed as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church shortly after his escape. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE GOOD LORD BIRD"). Of Brown’s black correspondents, historian Benjamin Quarles later wrote, “none spoke in more militant tones than James Gloucester.”. He talks of how, like streams turn into channels, nations’ pasts dig courses for the future, for better or for worse. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. Douglass describes Brown’s modest living circumstances, his devotion to his wife, children and the destruction of slavery.

We can – in a way — by close reading of one of his speeches and by taking a few clues into consideration. And you can’t forget it,”, “It doesn’t take very many words to encapsulate a moment that is accelerated though adrenaline, fear and terror.”, “Policing by feelings, not facts, targets a perceived enemy, rarely a real one,”, “What empowers a man to act with profound callousness? As Brown awaited the gallows, two of his longtime white abolitionist allies from Boston, Judge Thomas and Nellie Russell, paid him a visit. Our questions are simple: what did Bernie accomplish, why did he fail, what is his legacy, and how should we continue the struggle for democratic socialism? He knows this, he says, drawing them in with personal detail, because he knew Brown for more than a decade. Nevertheless, (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone).

Wherein no one is without Life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness. "My utterances became more and more tinged by the color of this man's strong impressions. You are fully Our new issue, “After Bernie,” is out now. DIGGS: (As Frederick Douglass) Oh, so now you know what the Negro slave needs? He said when he was “younger and reckless,” he got in fights that landed him in solitary confinement. The first was the note from Elizabeth Gloucester that highlighted Douglass’s enthusiasm about “the cause.” The second was from Brown’s friend James H. Harris, who had been trying, unsuccessfully, to recruit support for the attack among black abolitionists in Cleveland.

Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland (the Eastern Shore), around 1818, he escaped at the age of 20, wrote a timeless autobiography and became a towering figure — orator, activist, newspaper publisher, consultant to presidents — who worked for the freedom of millions of enslaved African Americans and campaigned for equal rights for women. Formerly enslaved Douglass was inspired by the white abolitionist’s passion, but they often butted heads, including over the raid at Harpers Ferry. “When (Jesus) opens his mouth, what comes out is a scandal,” Sampson said, then reading the scripture. They are unjust. Douglass was also a longtime confidant and admirer of John Brown, and well after the lethal Harpers Ferry Raid in October 1859, Douglass continued to pay tribute to the man that he (along with other devotees) called Captain Brown.
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frederick douglass on john brown


Playing up the absurdity of these situations lends a comedic feel, which makes the story's violence and brutality a little easier to handle. Frederick Douglass in April 1870. … Blessed are those who hunger for righteousness. Standard Disclaimer. Frederick Douglass on John Brown Meeting Captain Brown cautiously approached the subject which he wished to bring to my attention; for he seemed to apprehend opposition to his views. privilege to post content on the Library site. Played with wide-eyed wonder by Joshua Caleb Johnson, Henry notes that Black folks in the 1850s had divided opinions on Brown, whose attacks aimed at freeing slaves in Kansas and Virginia helped ratchet up tensions that led to the Civil War. ", Photo: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images, By the mid-1850s, Brown had become a national figure in his own right for his involvement in the violent "Bleeding Kansas" border conflicts, his actions celebrated by those who felt that slavery would only end through bloodshed. The time for compromises was gone, and to the armed hosts of freedom, standing above the chasm of a broken Union, was committed the decision of the sword. This also made me sad that we do not have any recordings of him speaking. unless clearly stated otherwise. What could possibly bring integrity back to law enforcement? A General Strike to Stop Trump?

That view, however, is based almost entirely on Douglass’s own accounts of the uprising. Copyright © 2020 NPR. Embracing wisdom from greats of the past we can build a new America.


Two decades later, in his third autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, the author fully spelled out his case — and provided the basis for most subsequent accounts of his connection (or lack thereof) to the Harpers Ferry raid. Although known for the rapport that fueled hit films like ‘Stir Crazy,’ the famed costars did not have the same level of chemistry off-screen. This time, Brown presented the full scope of his plan to capture the federal armory at the Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and arm the enslaved for a major insurrection. He speaks in a low conversational tone most of the time, but occasionally his tones roll out full and deep as those of an organ. On March 12, 1859, the two men met in Detroit, Michigan where they were hosted by local abolitionist, William Webb. Inspector General | Legal | Accessibility | External Link Disclaimer | USA.gov, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

The 59-year-old Brown led a party of fewer than two dozen men to attack the federal garrison in Harper’s Ferry on October 16, 1859, in an attempt to steal weapons with which to spur slave revolts. In 1861, the American Civil War began. DEGGANS: But then Brown tells Douglass of the hatred, fear and greed that lives in white slave owners' hearts. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. The history books omitted him or glimpsed over his name. Douglass’ answer to the speech’s titular question was a strong one. Get our print magazine for just $20 a year. … It was but the echo of alarm and terror of peaceful villages in Africa, startled from their slumbers at midnight a hundred years before by rapacious traders, to supply the markets of this Christian country, with slaves. After Douglass’s stay, Elizabeth Gloucester gave him a short letter to deliver to Brown. How would he have delivered this blistering but eloquent line from “Lessons of the Hour” in 1895: “Not a breeze comes to us now from the late rebellious States that is not tainted and freighted with negro blood”? But soon afterward, Douglass told a notable joke to a friendly audience in Edinburgh. The writer’s description of Fredrick Douglass’ speech on John Brown brought life to it. Douglass builds it here. The two abolitionists met at a stone quarry here, Aug. 19-21, 1859, and discussed Brown’s plans to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The Beach Boy and cult leader spent the summer of 1968 living together and dreaming about the musical possibilities that lay ahead. "When John Brown stretched forth his arm, the sky was cleared," he declared in the speech's powerful conclusion. Douglass then draws his subject close to the heart. Hearing Frederick Douglass: His Speech on John Brown.

Frederick Douglass was many things: a gifted writer, a brilliant orator, a shrewd political strategist. HAWKE: (As John Brown) I've been called crazy before, but I know there will be no friendship with the slave-holding man until he is soundly beaten, holds himself accountable and asks for forgiveness. One of Brown's captured men, John E. Cook, claimed that the orator had backed out of a promise to bring more men to the raid. LAKE PLACID — The words of Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” echoed off the walls of Corinthian Hall in Rochester on July 5, 1852. Yet one of his owners had taught him to read and provided him with books, including one of classic speeches. Thank you.

Some Unions Are Saying It’s Time.

Frederick Douglass, 1870, about age 52. “… reason teaches us to contemplate the John Brown raid in the light of eternity and eternal justice.”.

It followed up the statement from Douglass with two (of the 102) letters found in Brown’s carpetbag upon capture. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Frederick Douglass at Harpers Ferry. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/frederick-douglass

Help him out. The speech depicts an America stuck in a channel not living up to the lofty goals of its founders.

… Blessed are the peacemakers. Brown never saw this historic day, but Douglass did and continued to work throughout Reconstruction. The pivotal moment came in late August 1859, when Douglass met Brown in a quarry near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (sixty miles north of Harpers Ferry, then in Virginia).

So his talks would have had a classic structure. A half-century later, Nellie told the New York Evening Post that the condemned figurehead had bemoaned the “great opportunity lost” at Harpers Ferry, and claimed, “That we owe to the famous Mr. Frederick Douglass.” And historian Louis A. DeCaro Jr reports that Brown’s family was similarly sour about Douglass’s actions.

“The stories are tragic. And Brown, who drew praise for refusing to implicate associates while awaiting his death sentence, reportedly complained to a friend about the "great opportunity lost" at Harpers Ferry, adding, "that we owe to the famous Mr. Frederick Douglass.". Douglass, a former slave, had first-hand knowledge of the cruelty black people endured within the institution. Frederick Douglass, John Brown. I’m so proud to know I had an ancestor that spoke on the atrocities committed against my ancestors.✌. During the conflict, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which gave “free” legal status to over 3 million black people. The day he was hung, there was only one silver lining. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. The New York Herald, the nation’s leading newspaper and a Democratic Party organ, called him a “poor, pitiful coward,” while the kindred Brooklyn Daily Eagle contrasted “the Roman firmness” Brown displayed in court with “the flight of the skulking and cowardly negro, Douglass, who promised to stand by him.” (Brown’s bravery earned him many admirers among the pro-slavery crowd, most notably John Wilkes Booth, who attended his execution.).

It resulted in his capture, a highly-publicized trial, and execution by hanging. One of the most painful incidents connected with the name of this old hero is the attempt to prove him insane. Yet it was Brown, a white man with a record of failed business interests and unyielding religious conviction, who seemingly came off as the one more determined to end the cruel institution of slavery that day. It was a major step in realizing both Brown and Douglass’ dream. “Aside from the late tremendous war, I know of no event in all the thirty years of conflict with slavery which will be remembered longer, or make a more thrilling chapter in American History than the Harper’s Ferry raid,” he said. At his death in 1895, he was one of the most influential Americans of the 19th century. They are unjust. He had heard of him, especially from other Black abolitionists whose voices, when speaking of Brown, “would lower to a whisper.” At that meeting, Brown unfolded a … Formerly enslaved Douglass was inspired by the white abolitionist’s passion, … Prints and Photographs Division. An Address by Frederick Douglass, at the Fourteenth Anniversary of Storer College, Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, May 30, 1881 (Dover, NH: Morning Star Job Printing House, 1881), 9, 27. In Douglass' recollection, Brown brushed off the warning that he was "going into a perfect steel trap" from which "he would never get out alive" and pressed forward with the attempt to recruit his friend: "When I strike the bees will begin to swarm, and I shall want you to help hive them.".
For the Northern pro-slavery press in the fall of 1859, there was little doubt about Douglass’s involvement.

Douglass’s Monthly, November 1859. Second, we know that he was deeply moved by black spirituals as a youth and that he was licensed as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church shortly after his escape. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE GOOD LORD BIRD"). Of Brown’s black correspondents, historian Benjamin Quarles later wrote, “none spoke in more militant tones than James Gloucester.”. He talks of how, like streams turn into channels, nations’ pasts dig courses for the future, for better or for worse. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. Douglass describes Brown’s modest living circumstances, his devotion to his wife, children and the destruction of slavery.

We can – in a way — by close reading of one of his speeches and by taking a few clues into consideration. And you can’t forget it,”, “It doesn’t take very many words to encapsulate a moment that is accelerated though adrenaline, fear and terror.”, “Policing by feelings, not facts, targets a perceived enemy, rarely a real one,”, “What empowers a man to act with profound callousness? As Brown awaited the gallows, two of his longtime white abolitionist allies from Boston, Judge Thomas and Nellie Russell, paid him a visit. Our questions are simple: what did Bernie accomplish, why did he fail, what is his legacy, and how should we continue the struggle for democratic socialism? He knows this, he says, drawing them in with personal detail, because he knew Brown for more than a decade. Nevertheless, (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone).

Wherein no one is without Life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness. "My utterances became more and more tinged by the color of this man's strong impressions. You are fully Our new issue, “After Bernie,” is out now. DIGGS: (As Frederick Douglass) Oh, so now you know what the Negro slave needs? He said when he was “younger and reckless,” he got in fights that landed him in solitary confinement. The first was the note from Elizabeth Gloucester that highlighted Douglass’s enthusiasm about “the cause.” The second was from Brown’s friend James H. Harris, who had been trying, unsuccessfully, to recruit support for the attack among black abolitionists in Cleveland.

Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland (the Eastern Shore), around 1818, he escaped at the age of 20, wrote a timeless autobiography and became a towering figure — orator, activist, newspaper publisher, consultant to presidents — who worked for the freedom of millions of enslaved African Americans and campaigned for equal rights for women. Formerly enslaved Douglass was inspired by the white abolitionist’s passion, but they often butted heads, including over the raid at Harpers Ferry. “When (Jesus) opens his mouth, what comes out is a scandal,” Sampson said, then reading the scripture. They are unjust. Douglass was also a longtime confidant and admirer of John Brown, and well after the lethal Harpers Ferry Raid in October 1859, Douglass continued to pay tribute to the man that he (along with other devotees) called Captain Brown.

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