The Capture and Execution of John Brown: A Tale of Martyrdom

by Elijah Avey

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Slavery was truly an awful institution that, even today in its legacy, continues to plague the United States. During its height, abolitionists “waved the bloody flag” and vigorously protested to end it, though it took plunging the nation into the Civil War to result in it being finally eradicated. One person that took a powerful stand against “the peculiar institution” was John Brown. Though Brown had led forces against pro-slavery opponents earlier, it wasn’t until 1859 when he grabbed the national stage by leading forces, particularly enslaved African Americans, at Harper’s Ferry. The movement was ultimately unsuccessful, and Brown was captured and tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia (before Harper’s Ferry was part of West Virginia). He was hanged despite vocal opposition from his supporters. Yet, his work as an abolitionist created ripples of tension that significantly fueled the drift towards war. This work is written by Elijah Avery, who offers a detailed, eyewitness account of the events, and contextualizes John Brown’s life.

This new edition is dedicated to the efforts of the American Public University System to preserve the artifacts of historic Charles Town in West Virginia with its associations with John Brown.


Rear-Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont: A Biography

by H. A. Du Pont

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Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont (1803-1865) served in the United States Navy, specifically during the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. His uncle, Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, was the founder of what is commonly known as the DuPont chemical concern, but is officially E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Du Pont’s family was unable to financially support his education, so Samuel enlisted in the Navy. His family’s connections obtained appointment to midshipman by President James Madison. He had an illustrious career until questions about his judgment in an attempt to capture Charleston during the Civil War became an issue when the blockade failed. Du Pont was so anguished by this that he relieved himself of command on July 5, 1863. Later events proved that he was not at fault, and nearly two decades after his death in 1865, a bronze sculpture of Du Pont and the renaming of the region in Washington DC from Pacific Circle to Du Pont Circle was dedicated on December 20, 1884. The statue was moved by the Du Pont family in 1920 to Wilmington, Delaware. It was replaced in 1921 by a memorial fountain that still stands today, one that was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and designed by Henry Bacon. Dupont Circle has remained a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike in DC. The location has slowly changed its name from Du Pont to Dupont, so this work illustrating the deeds for which the area received its namesake is especially important. This edition is dedicated to the good people of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, guardians of what is a national treasure.

An Oration Delivered Before the Municipal Authorities of the City of Boston

by Thomas Starr King

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Thomas Starr King delivered this famous address while at the pinnacle of his career as minister of the Hollis Street Church in Boston. It was no small accomplishment in a city which, at the time, nurtured a host of famous orators. But King’s most singular contribution was to follow in 1860 when he accepted then pulpit of the Unitarian Church in San Francisco and proceeded to barnstorm the stateOrationFRONT in support of the Union. Such acts earned from Lincoln the remark that he was “the orator who saved the nation.”

King is commemorated by two peaks named for him: Mount Starr King in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and Mount Starr King in Yosemite National Park. Other honors include a school and park in San Francisco, a school in Los Angeles, and another school in Salem, Massachusetts. He is also recalled as being the major funds raiser for then United States Sanitary Commission, the precursor of the American Red Cross.

More than once King said, “True patriotism does not accept and glory in its country merely for what it is at present, and has been in the past, but for what it may be. We are living for the future. It doth not yet appear what we shall be.”