Saturday, January 17, 2009

PRESS RELEASE ABOUT EVENTS THIS YEAR

For Immediate Release

Participants of the John Brown Raid of 1859 commemorated in 150th anniversary events


Was John Brown a “hero” or a “terrorist”? After almost 150 years, many people are still not sure.


But in 2009, you might be able to have your questions answered, as throughout the year, organizations in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland will be commemorating the 150th anniversary the John Brown raid of Harpers Ferry that actually occurred on October 16, 1859.


Almost 100 events are already being planned, with some still under consideration.


Throughout the year there will be information available about a plethora of characters tied to the raid. Those characters will include John Blessing, a Charles Town man who befriended John Brown while the abolitionist awaited his trial; Fontaine Beckham, mayor of Harpers Ferry and one of the civilian casualties of the raid; Shields Green, a colored raider who was captured and hanged; Luke Quinn, U.S. Marine and the only military casualty of the raid; and Frederick Douglass, Negro leader who refused to join the raid.


In Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Mrs. Ritner who helped John Brown’s men get to the Kennedy Farm to participate in the raid, and who then helped several of John Brown’s raiders who escaped.


“The Secret Six” who funded John Brown’s activities and the U.S. Marines and their leader, Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee (U.S. Army) who dramatically captured John Brown on the morning of October 18, 1859, will be featured in special events.


Additionally, academic papers will be presented, walking tours in historic Charles Town and Harpers Ferry will be offered, and dramatic readings of “John Brown’s Body” will be offered. There will be offerings of the play called “Sword of the Spirit” based on letters to and from John Brown and his wife Mary.


And there will be a walk in the footsteps of John Brown and his men from the Kennedy Farm to Harpers Ferry along the actual route they took, on the actual 150th anniversary, October 16, 2009.


A visit to the town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) will give the impression of a Civil War era town, although the town predates 1800. In Charles Town the Courthouse where John Brown was tried and the site of his execution still exist. The Jefferson County Museum in Charles Town has the wagon he rode on to his execution, the desk from his jail cell and the gurney he was carried back and forth from the courthouse to the jail.


Historians will be on hand to answer questions and debate the raid itself. Authors will discuss the events and John Brown himself. Descendents of people actually involved in the situation will be revisiting the area, including descendents of John Brown.


A special website has been set up to give you details of all the events including contact information. The website will be updated on a regular basis as new activities are planned. Please visit the website at www.johnbrownhf.com Or call Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau for details at 1-866-HELLO-WV.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

John Brown Year, 2009 events begin.

Thanks to Jean Libby for this listing of upcoming John Brown related events!


Allen (TX) to Manassas (VA); Schenectady (NY) to Saratoga (CA)

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February 7:
Allen Public Library (Texas)
309 North Allen Drive 75013
7 p.m.

The John Brown Symposium


Alice Keesey Mecoy, John Brown descendant “John Brown, my father and family remembered” http://johnbrownkin.blogspot.com/

Donnie Ray Albert, opera singer (portraying Frederick Douglass in Kirke Mechem’s John Brown Opera )

Evan Carton, John Brown scholar “The extended family of John Brown, abolitionist” author of Patriotic Treason; John Brown and the soul of America

February 1 through February 28, 2009 display of John Brown memorabilia from Alice Keesey Mecoy's private collection

This event and exhibit is sponsored by the Allen Public Library

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February 26:
Old Manassas Courthouse (Virginia)
9248 Lee Ave.
7 p.m.

“Newby Family and Harper’s Ferry, 1859”

Dr. Philip J. Schwarz, historian. The touching story about Dangerfield’s desperate attempts to free his wife, who lived in Brentville, which lead to his prominent role in John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry Raid in 1859.

This event and exhibit is co-sponsored by the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and the Prince William-Manassas Park Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Allies for Freedom editor’s note: Now is the time to gather the information from everyone’s research about Dangerfield and Harriett Newby. Please share your evidence with Dr. Schwarz, who is the author of “The Newby Families in Virginia and Ohio ” in Migrants Against Slavery, Virginians & the Nation. All roads are leading to Manassas on February 26. Public historian Deborah A. Lee is organizing a carpool.

In August the Black History Committee of the Thomas Balch Library will present a program of the aria “Dear Husband” by Kirke Mechem, the words of Harriett to Dangerfield in the letters that were delivered to John Brown’s headquarters in Ashtabula County , Ohio . The program will be in Warrenton , Virginia – the homeplace of Harriett Newby and descendants.

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February 27 –
28 Union College
Schenectady ( New York )

Annual Conference events and workshops

“John Brown Photo Chronology”

Jean Libby, independent scholar. Workshop participatory critical review on Saturday. February 28, 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Exhibition is scheduled in Harpers Ferry from July to October, 2009.

The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
researches, preserves, and retells New York 's regional history of the Underground Railroad, highlighting the role of African-American freedom seekers and local abolitionists

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March 6
Saratoga Historical Museum ( California )
20450 – 60 Saratoga - Los Gatos Road

Mary Brown To Be Honored in Saratoga CA

From the January 2009 Foundation Newsletter "The Saratoga History Museum will debut a personal version of of Harper's Ferry through the eyes of one-time Saratoga resident Mary Brown and some of her children. Mary Brown, second wife of Abolitionist John Brown moved to California after his death to begin a new life. The museum's archives will provide a poignant portrait of the family. The exhibit opens March 6 in the Museum and includes items never before exhibited."

South Bay Civil War Round Table people met Paul Keesey, a direct descendant of John and Mary Brown through Annie Brown, at the photo workshop on November 25, 2008. The cryptic reference is to the donation of vintage photos of Annie Brown and Bertha Cook (her daughter, his aunt) that Mr. Keesey announced to the group. This family branch was the source of the recent public recovery of the first daguerreotype of John Brown (Augustus Washington, 1846 or 1847) that was purchased by the Hallmark Foundation for the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City in December 2007.


Jean Libby, editor
Allies for Freedom
www.alliesforfreedom.org

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mary Brown To Be Honored in Saratoga CA

On March 6th the Saratoga Historical Foundation is opening an exhibit focusing on the 150th anniversary of Harper's Ferry and Saratoga resident Mary Brown.

From the January 2009 Newsletter "The Saratoga History Museum will debut a personal version of of Harper's Ferry through the eyes of one-time Saratoga resident Mary Brown and some of her children. Mary Brown, second wife of Abolitionist John Brown moved to California after his death to begin a new life. The museum's archives will provide a poignant portrait of the family. The exhibit opens March 6 in the Museum and includes items never before exhibited."

Two of the never before exhibited items are the pictures that my Great Aunt Alice donated to the museum - one of Annie Brown Adams and one of Annie's daughter Bertha (Alice's mother). Very exciting

I plan to be at the opening of the exhibit.