"IF IT IS DEEMED NECESSARY THAT I SHOULD FORFEIT MY LIFE…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 SAY, LET IT BE DONE": RARE ABOLITIONIST BROADSIDE RELEASED IN 1859, THE SAME YEAR AS THE HARPER'S FERRY RAID, "ADDRESS OF JOHN BROWN TO THE VIRGINIA COURT"
(BROWN, John). Broadside ["Address of John Brown to the Virginia Court, when about to receive the Sentence of Death, for his heroic attempt at Harper's Ferry, to Give deliverance to the captives, and to let the oppressed go free"]. Boston: Printed by C.C. Mead, . Single sheet of beige paper, measuring 11 by 14 inches; pp. 1. Matted and framed, entire piece measures 16 by 19-1/2 inches. $8500.
Fascinating 1859 broadside sharing John Brown's speech before the court prior to receiving his death sentence of the Harper's Ferry Raid, published the same year as both the raid and Brown's execution and originally sold by the abolitionist weekly, The Liberator.
This striking broadside was published the same year as the Harper's Ferry raid and was sold by William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist weekly, The Liberator. Despite a limited circulation of just 3,000, The Liberator was popular with prominent reformers and abolitionists including Frederick Douglass. While Garrison wrote a powerful piece in The Liberator characterizing Brown's raid as "misguided" and "futile," he nevertheless acknowledged that such actions were in line with the Revolutionary War's ethos. A broadside such as this would have been greatly inspiring to The Liberator's readers, many of whom were less moderate than Garrison and considered Brown a martyr. Brown's Harpers Ferry raid "was for many a jeremiad against a nation that defied God in tolerating human bondage. It sent tremors of horror throughout the South and gave secessionists a persuasive symbol of northern hostility. It hardened positions over slavery everywhere. It helped to discredit Stephen A. Douglas' compromise policy of popular sovereignty and to divide the Democratic party, thus ensuring the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860" (ANB). W.E.B Du Bois, in his 1909 book, John Brown, simply declared that above all: "John Brown was right" (338). "Du Bois' startling pronouncement thunders through American history… Brown sparked the war to a degree that no other American did… he kept alive the revolutionary spirit that ran from Puritan antinomianism through the founding fathers' resistance to tyranny to the self-reliant nonconformity of the Transcendentalists… Indeed, 'John Brown was right'" (Reynolds, John Brown, ix, 505-6). Notably, another copy of this broadside resides in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress.
Expert paper repair, mainly marginal, to folding creases; a few tiny spots of soiling. A most rare and desirable abolitionist broadside.