2 December

Henry David Thoreau said of him that 'no man in America has ever stood up so persistently and effectively for the dignity of human nature'. Frederick Douglass said that, 'though a white gentleman, he is in sympathy a black man, and as deeply interested in our cause, as though his own soul had been pierced with the iron of slavery'.
December 2009

The militant fighter against slavery, John Brown, was hanged on 2 December, barely six weeks after he led a group of 22 men (five black and 17 white) in an abortive raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Wounded in the raid he was charged and convicted of treason.

'I believe to have interfered as I have done . . . in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it be deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it be done.'

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