Monday, March 31, 2014

John Brown..Written by James Redpath in 1859 and published in 1860. One of the first major writings on Brown.

This book was written from the direct conversation with John Brown in 1857 and in his last days. The book was endorsed by Brown's widow and son. The author James Redpath, was a fiery abolitionist and was involved with working to get support for John Brown in Boston. This was at the recommendation of John Brown himself. At the time this was a hotbed of the anti-slavery crowd. Most of the monies made from this book, which is very sympathetic to Brown went to his wife and family. I have added the first few pages of this rare book and let you read yourself some of the raw feelings that were afoot in 1860. This book of course was written before the Civil War. At the time of John Brown's raid in 1859, his actions set off a chain of events that shook the slave owning community to it's core. 

It is interesting that the fledgling Republican party and of course Lincoln stayed as far away from this as possible. Brown was passionate and misguided. But his actions and thoughts were in line and would be one of the factors that would lead to war. The military panel that judged him was lead by Robert E. Lee. Of course Redpath mentions nothing about Lee here as at the time he was not a major figure. What is interesting here is that Redpath mentions George Washington's actions a lot. Of course in the thought of his actions against the British during the revolution. Robert E. Lee, who would be in charge of the execution of Brown was Washington's step great grandson through marriage.  

Redpath would be the author and ghostwriter for many books. Oddly, he would be the ghost writer for Jefferson Davis's autobiography and history of the Confederacy.