John Brown Ascends the Scaffold

John Brown was executed in Charleston, Virginia on December 2, 1859. Southerners rejoiced in the death, considering Brown a fanatic who embodied all they hated about the North. Many northerners, however, felt very differently. Henry David Thoreau called Brown "an angel of light" and Ralph Waldo Emerson said he would "make the gallows as glorious as the cross." A popular song of the day stated that John Brown's body might lie a-mouldering in the grave, but "his truth is marching on."

December 02, 1859
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