John Brown, 1800–1859
Poster Caption: The raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), by the militant abolitionist John Brown on October 16, 1859, polarized a nation already divided on the question of slavery. The attack convinced Southerners that their political and economic survival was threatened, while Brown’s execution rallied Northern abolitionists. After his execution, artists and writers popularized the story of Brown blessing an African American child on his way to the gallows. After the abolitionists’ goal of emancipation had been realized at the end of the Civil War, artist Thomas Satterwhite Noble memorialized a saintly John Brown in this painting. (John Brown’s Blessing, by Thomas Satterwhite Noble, 1867, oil on canvas)
These posters are 22" x 30", full color, and printed on a semi-gloss ivory stock. Each one features a caption that places the image in historical context.