John Brown Today

John Brown, Philadelphia, and a Decoy Coffin

December 06, 2020 Louis DeCaro Jr. Season 1 Episode 6
John Brown Today
John Brown, Philadelphia, and a Decoy Coffin
Show Notes

In this episode, Lou shares the climaxing chapter in John Brown's story--his death, and tells how his body was carried to Philadelphia, Pa., in route to burial in the Adirondacks.  Centering the story on Philadelphia, Lou reflects on Brown's previous visits to the City of Brother Love, including the decisive role that Frederick Douglass played in Brown's disappointed effort to enlist free black men from the city.  Reflecting on matters of race, too, this episode provides a glimpse of the controversy in the North that immediately followed Brown's execution, and the influence that the South had upon the North in the antebellum era.  This episode is based on a presentation that Lou made at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on Dec. 2, 2009 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Harper's Raid and John Brown's execution. An annotated transcript of this essay is available on John Brown Today: A Biographer's Blog, at https://bit.ly/decoycoffin.