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Transcendentalists, Abolitionists, John Brown, and Beyond
Sunday, January 12, 2020 @ 7:00 pmFree
John Brown’s raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in 1859 brought the United States one step closer to civil war. Many people in the South hated Brown and considered him a deranged fanatic. And while his actions were misunderstood and condemned in the North, a small but vocal group of New England writers, poets and abolitionists did their best to make Brown a hero. It was, after all, a “secret six” coalition of New Englanders — including Medford resident George Luther Stearns — who’d given Brown the money and weapons for the raid in the first place!
Join Historian Richard Smith for an entertaining and educational lecture and discussion on the aftermath of Brown’s Raid. Why did the New England literati adore Brown? How did Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Lydia Maria Child, and others reinvent Brown and turn a supposedly insane fanatic into an Abolitionist martyr?
Presented by the Medford Historical Society & Museum, Royall House & Slave Quarters, and Friends of the Medford Public Library.