John Brown: friend or foe? John Brown: friend or foe?    |   By Mieke Bleeker
  “John Brown’s body lies moldering in the grave, While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save; But tho he lost his life while struggling for the slave, His soul is marching on.” ‘John Brown’s Body’ – Union marching song (tune: Battle Hymne of the Republic) For people either very much […]
February 13, 2020



Crossroads of Abolitionists Crossroads of Abolitionists    |   By Mieke Bleeker
  Why John Brown opposed slavery in the way he did is hard to say. We know that as a twelve-year-old, he witnessed a slave boy about his age being severely beaten with an iron fire shovel, which shocked him greatly. We also know that his father, who was involved in the Underground Railroad by […]
February 10, 2020



Was John Brown’s failed raid still a success? Was John Brown’s failed raid still a success?    |   By Mieke Bleeker
  Just over a week after his capture, John Brown stood trial. He was charged with treason, conspiracy and murder. It must have been quite a sight: the courtroom was packed with witnesses, journalists and spectators, while John Brown was lying on a cot due to stab wounds he had sustained during his arrest. Brown’s […]
February 6, 2020



The raid: “Men, get on your arms, we will proceed to the Ferry” The raid: “Men, get on your arms, we will proceed to the Ferry”    |   By Mieke Bleeker
  John Brown, a white man, was a fierce opponent of slavery who saw the enslavement of black people as a sin against God. At an anti-slavery convention in Canada in 1858, he proposed the creation of a free state under a new set of laws called the ‘Provisional Constitution of the United States’, which […]
February 3, 2020