|Date(s):||December 2, 1859|
|Tag(s):||Crime/Violence, Race-Relations, Slavery|
|Course:||“Rise And Fall of the Slave South,” University of Virginia|
A month and a half after his arrest for leading an abolitionist raid in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, John Brown was hanged in Charles Towne. The governor, Henry Wise, received at least seventeen affidavits from Brown's friends, family, and fellow abolitionists. They all claimed that Brown was insane, and that insanity ran throughout his family history. Despite these letters, Wise allowed the hanging to continue as planned, and at 11:15am, Brown was executed. Thirty-five minutes later, he was pronounced dead.
Shortly before his hanging, he wrote a letter to his family, in which he encourages his children to abhor, with undying hatred also, that sum of all villainies Slavery. Remember, he that is slow to anger is better than the might, and he that ruleth in spirit than he that taketh a city' (Life, Trial, and Execution, p. 108). Ironically, Brown himself had tried to take a city and failed. He had even drafted a constitution for his ideal way of governing that city. With death facing him, he seemed to turn more toward spiritual dominance, as most of his will bequeathed Bibles to his family members.