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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Brown, John (1800-1859) [Photograph of John Brown's last written words]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04463.08.01 Author/Creator: Brown, John (1800-1859) Place Written: Charlestown, Virginia Type: Photograph Date: December 1859 Pagination: 1 p. ; 8 x 20 cm. Order a Copy

Albumen print of the last written words of John Brown. "I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty, land: will never be purged away, but with Blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done."

Brown, John, 1800-1859

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