Concord Transcendentalists and the Legacy of John Brown


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) "A plea for Captain John Brown" in Echoes of Harpers Ferry, editedby James Redpath (Boston, 1860)

Less than two weeks after John Brown's capture on 30 October1859, Thoreau offered unqualified praise for Brown's actions in a speech titled "A Plea for Captain John Brown," delivered at Concord, Boston, and Worcester. The speech garnered a great deal of support for Brown. Displayed is Louisa May Alcott's copy of James Redpath's Echoes of Harpers Ferry, where an adaptation of Thoreau's plea was first published in full. Redpath, a radical abolitionist, befriended Brown in Kansas 1857 and wrote his first biography, The Public Life of John Brown (1860).

*AC85.Al194.Zz860r – Gift of Mrs. Frederick W. Pratt, 1969.