John Brown Today

"Never Tell It": John Brown and the Masonic Lodge

March 10, 2021 Louis DeCaro Jr. Season 2 Episode 5
John Brown Today
"Never Tell It": John Brown and the Masonic Lodge
Show Notes

In this episode, Lou reflects upon the story of John Brown's involvement in the Masons, first his membership and then  his drastic turnabout in becoming an antagonistic opponent of the "Worthy Brotherhood."  Not only is this a peculiar aspect of Brown's biography, but it raises some questions, including if Masons then and now continue to claim John Brown as a brother Mason.  Evidently, some have and some still do. In a storyline that begins with John Brown as a man in his twenties and ends with him in the final days prior to the Harper's Ferry raid in 1859, the Masonic theme provides an opportunity to get a real sense of Brown's orientation as an "anti-bully," his tendency to throw in on any conflict where he perceived injustice, and how his anti-Masonic turn may have been flavored by antislavery convictions.  Later in life, John Brown didn't  want people, especially Masonic supporters, to know about either his former involvement in the secret fraternity, or his turn against it.  But despite Brown's admonition, "Never tell it!", Lou tells it all in this episode--at least as much as we'll probably ever know about John Brown and the Masons.