Inside the Vault: John Brown

On October 1, 2020, the Gilder Lehrman Collection team was joined by Nate McAlister, 2010 National History Teacher of the Year, and Colby Lewis from Hamilton to discuss John Brown in this session of Inside the Vault: Highlights from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. We go beyond the textbook and discuss rare primary source documents relating to John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (today West Virginia). These documents represent the wide variety of resources available and demonstrate some of the reactions to Brown’s raid.

Click here to download the slides from the presentation.

    Classroom-ready resources for the documents presented

    Use the timestamps below to jump to the documents you want to view

    • John Brown’s final address: 16:20–30:12
    • Letter from Mahala Doyle to John Brown: 30:13–35:10
    • John Brown’s final written words: 35:11–46:04
    • Martyrdom of John Brown by Henry David Thoreau: 48:32–55:30
    • Words and music for John Brown’s Body: 55:31–1:02:00