Wednesday, July 1, 2009

John Brown Farm- July 1

Today we visited the John Brown State Historic Site. This place,as well as the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage and Museum are located at Saranac Lake,New York. There is so much to write on both these locations that I will only write on the John Brown historic site tonight. Posted here is a picture of his farm,as well as a statue of him located on the grounds. He arrived in Saranac Lake in 1849 with his family. Initially he came to this area to help freed black slaves from the state of New York to settle and develop farms in the Adirondack wilderness. This settlement,known as Timbuctoo, did not survive,however. In the meantime,he had sons who had settled in Kansas and were encouraging him to come there to help with the anti-slavery campaign. This was one of many times he left his wife and children to take care of the farm while he was away. He did not spend much time on the farm- but did visit over the years and with two wives(the first died in 1832)manage to sire 20 children. In Kansas he was instrumental in helping it become a free state. From there he went to Virginia. With his followers and two of his sons he assaulted the US Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. His intention was to capture arms and use them to conduct an extensive campaign for the liberation of slaves in the South. He failed and in December of 1859 was hung. The followers and his two sons who were killed in the battle were eventually all brought back to the farm and buried with John Brown. Sorry if this is a history lesson you already know, for myself I knew very little of him other than what happened at Harper's Ferry. After learning more about him today my admiration for what he stood for went up a few notches. After learning how totally he gave of his life for abolition of slavery, I wondered what was his motivation? I came to find out that as a youth he saw a black friend badly beaten. I want to wind this up with a prophesy of his before he died: "I,John Brown,am quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had,as now I think,vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done." This prophesy was realized in the Civil War.

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