That John Brown Monument

August 4, 1894


The creation of a statue to the memory of John Brown, an abolitionist, generates backlash from Southern press and public.


The Richmond, VA Dispatch And other Democratic journals seem to have grown red in the face and are gesticulating so wildly that one would suspect them of having the St Vitus dance.
The cause of this is the announcement that a monument is to be erected to the Patriots and martyr, John Brown.
These journals have gone so far as to threaten the railroad company which donated the site. This is a peculiar situation of Affairs. And yet we know of no law against the erection of a monument even to an alleged traitor.
These blatant journals would deny to others a privilege which they arrogate to themselves. It is a well-known fact that many Northerners have regarded the leaders of the late Confederacy as traitors, and regarded it as a mistake that legislation prohibiting the erection of monuments to their memory app on American soil was not enacted, yet there were many others who held the opposite View and regarded such a proposition as a threatened encroachment upon the right and privileges of an American citizen.
It seems strange then that some Southerners would be so narrow-minded as to raise a hue and cry against this old man, whose hand is forever stilled, tongue forever Silenced, but whose soul is marching on.
That John Brown, by his action precipitated the War of the Rebellion, which in turn resulted in the abolishment of slavery, no one who is rightly acquainted with the truths of History will gain say or deny.
It has been declared by Southerners that the obturation of slavery was a blessing and the condition of the past, they were glad to say had gone never to return. Then why pursue further with obloquy the memory of this humble old man? If monuments to Mr. Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E Lee, with numbers of others connected with the “ Lost Cause” does not revive memories and arouse sectional feeling, nessus eating constitutional enactment by the national government prohibiting the same, why should a monument to John Brown?
No, no, gentlemen, you may attempt to cover with disgrace, smear with this honor this Grand Old Man; you made the night us the privilege of wearing to his memory a modest shaft, but, sirs, in our hearts is already in shrined a living Monument which shall last until the race to which we belong has been obliterated and all traces of it lost upon the plains of Time.
John Brown was a traitor you say, but The man who perished with him witnessed his heroic example before he passed away. His prophecies were fulfilled.
Never will be forgotten the scene on that ill-fated day, when with firm tread, he walked them death and on his way to the scaffold stop and kissed the little black child, showing his love for the race of which it was a typical representative.
John Brown gave his life for the cause he advocated. He never let thousands of innocent man into a conflict, deluged a land with the blood of the Guiltless, separated husband from wife, son, Lover from sweetheart, many of whom or never to meet again until the sounding of the last Trump. He never made vacant the place at the Hearthstone and lived to see the misery which his actions had precipitated.
He never defended slavery. She loved mankind. He was the servant of humanity. A monument to him should be built and the Art of the sculptor should be in both in his behalf and as the sun lights Rays play upon the Silent Witness of this old man's self-sacrifice, black children could find no better Pastime than to list their prayers in the locality where it stands...
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Contributed By

Carlos Serrano


“That John Brown Monument,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed September 24, 2020,