John Brown’s Crew in Comics

Posted on April 21, 2021

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John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

by David S. Reynolds, a cultural biography, is one of my favorite books of all time. The publisher introduces it:

An authoritative new examination of John Brown and his deep impact on American history. Bancroft Prize-winning cultural historian David S. Reynolds presents an informative and richly considered new exploration of the paradox of a man steeped in the Bible but more than willing to kill for his abolitionist cause. Reynolds locates Brown within the currents of nineteenth-century life and compares him to modern terrorists, civil-rights activists, and freedom fighters. Ultimately, he finds neither a wild-eyed fanatic nor a Christ-like martyr, but a passionate opponent of racism so dedicated to eradicating slavery that he realized only blood could scour it from the country he loved. By stiffening the backbone of Northerners and showing Southerners there were those who would fight for their cause, he hastened the coming of the Civil War. This is a vivid and startling story of a man and an age on the verge of calamity.

As a reader, I was captivated by the stories of the countless men and women who spent–and lost–their lives fighting for Black liberation. I tried to capture a few memorable figures and moments from the work in my comics. I honor here, Brown and the many courageous abolitionists, known and unknown, who fought for to end slavery and insure full citizenship for all in the United States.

You can hear an excerpt from the book at the link above. You can listen to Reynolds talk about the book at this link.

When it’s safe to travel again, I’d like to take a John Brown road trip and stop at these sites:

John Brown history of Akron, OH here.

John Brown Museum, Osawatomie, KS here.

John Brown Raid Site, Sharpsburg, MD here.

John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid, NY here.

Like John Brown and other 19th century abolitionists, I want to see the United States be a nation where “justice to all mankind” is guaranteed.


lisa eddy is a writer and editor for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com