The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

A Captain in John Brown's Army

Our September Object of the Month is a commission signed by John Brown, making Aaron Dwight Stevens a captain in the "army Brown hoped to raise under a provisional antislavery constitution for the United States." The document was signed the night before Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, in which both he and Stevens were captured (both were later executed).

Brown's provisional constitution, drawn up in a secret May 1858 meeting, would have outlawed slavery in the United States. You can read more about the constitution, Brown, and Aaron Dwight Stevens here.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry, the Historical Society will present an exhibition of personal papers, photographs, engravings, and artifacts that document the 1859 raid and Brown's trial and execution later that year, together with evidence of continuing arguments about the morality and meaning of Brown's actions ever since. The exhibition will be open to the public from 1:00-4:00 PM, Monday-Saturday, from 12 October - 23 December 2009.

permalink | Published: Thursday, 3 September, 2009, 4:38 PM


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