The story of John Brown ( abolitionist )
Posted on August 14th, 2017

John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of 1856. Dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement, he said, “These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!” During the Kansas campaign, Brown commanded forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie. He and his supporters killed five supporters of slavery in the Pottawatomie massacre of May 1856 in response to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces.

In 1859, Brown led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry to start a liberation movement among the slaves there. During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown’s men had fled or been killed or captured by local pro-slavery farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. He was tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men, and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts and was hanged. Brown’s raid captured the nation’s attention, as Southerners feared it was just the first of many Northern plots to cause a slave rebellion that might endanger their lives, while Republicans dismissed the notion and claimed they would not interfere with slavery in the South.

Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid escalated tensions that, a year later, led to the South’s secession and Civil WarDavid Potter has said the emotional effect of Brown’s raid was greater than the philosophical effect of the Lincoln–Douglas debates, and that it reaffirmed a deep division between North and South. Some writers, including Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot; others, such as Stephen B. Oates, regard him as “one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation”.[1] David S. Reynolds hails him as the man who “killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights” and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was “an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free”.[2] “John Brown’s Body” was a popular Union marching song during the Civil War and made him a martyr.

Brown’s actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary, and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist.

For more

John Brown’s Raid in American Memory

As a major part of the national acknowledgment of the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society presented the exhibition “The Portent: John Brown’s Raid in American Memory.” The exhibition was on display at the VHS October 2009 through April 2010. (View the online exhibition at…)

John Brown and his followers easily seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, but soon afterwards Brown was captured, and a number of his men were killed. He did succeed, however, in initiating a national debate about slavery.

The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities have generously supported the John Brown exhibition.

John Brown’s Body

Popular Union marching song during the Civil War that made John Brown a Martyr.

John Brown’s Body” (originally known as “John Brown’s Song“) is a United States marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War. The tune arose out of the folk hymn tradition of the American camp meeting movement of the late 18th and early 19th century. According to an 1890 account, the original John Brown lyrics were a collective effort by a group of Union soldiers who were referring both to the famous John Brown and also, humorously, to a Sergeant John Brown of their own battalion. Various other authors have published additional verses and/or claimed credit for originating the John Brown lyrics and tune.

The “flavor of coarseness, possibly of irreverence”[2] led many of the era to feel uncomfortable with the earliest “John Brown” lyrics. This in turn led to the creation of many variant versions of the text that aspired to a higher literary quality. The most famous of these is Julia Ward Howe‘s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was written when a friend suggested, “Why do you not write some good words for that stirring tune?”[3]

Numerous informal versions and adaptations of the lyrics and music have been created from the mid-1800s down to the present, making “John Brown’s Body” an example of a living folk music tradition.


The Tune of John Brown’s Body is a favourite tune played by Papare Bands during the annual Royal – Thomian Match.

The lyrics are different but a part of the lyrics of the original song appear to be retained.

Listening to the melody and words of ‘John Brown’s Body’ revives nostaligic memories of Big Match frolic.


Here are some versions of the music of John Brown’s body:

John Brown’s Body

Published on 29 Sep 2009

Back around the time that northern Christians, abolitionists, free blacks, anti-slavery activists and Kansas land owners first formed the Republican party, John Brown, an abolitionist and Baptist preacher, gave his life to put an end to slavery. During the civil war northern soldiers sang this old song as they marched off to battle. After “Julia Ward Howe” heard Union troops singing this, *the original (published Dec. 1861 in the Chicago Tribune) version of the song, she wrote her own words to it’s tune. Soon after, her version was published Feb 1862 in the “Atlantic Monthly” as “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”

*William Weston Patton 1861/Gloria Jane 2004 Arrangement, Vocals, Guitar, and added one chorus from another version of the song, changed the words “Shall all be free” to “Were all set free” to fit today.

John Brown’s Body

Battle Hymn Of The Republic – John Browns Body

John Brown’s Body – The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge

John Brown’s Song

The Yellow Rose Of Texas originel 78 rpm vynil

this is an original record of the rebels song : the yellow rose of texas

Traditional / Folk, c1836-1858
Became popular during the U.S. Civil War, especially among cavalrymen.

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