Brown was captured, put on trial, and convicted of treason. He was hanged at Charlestown, Virginia, on December 2, 1859, and news of his execution was read with enormous interest.
Today in Newspaper Sunday we look back at news coverage of the hanging of John Brown.
Note: The newspaper links below lead to excerpts. On those pages the "persistent link" will open the entire page of the newspaper.
- New York Tribune, December 1, 1859: A dispatch written before Brown's execution noted that the Virginia town where it was to take place had essentially been locked down by the military authorities.
- New York Tribune, December 3, 1859: Extensive coverage of the execution appeared in a leading New York newspaper known for its anti-slavery sympathies.
- The Anti-Slavery Bugle, December 10, 1859: An abolitionist weekly in Ohio published a number of items about Brown, including the text of his last letter to his wife and children.
- New York Tribune, December 5, 1859: The New York Tribune, on the Monday following Brown's execution, printed considerable coverage, which began with a report that Brown's body had arrived in New York City. He was eventually buried in North Elba, New York.
- The Louisiana Democrat, December 14, 1859: A southern newspaper noted that Brown was allegedly influenced by Senator William Seward of New York. At that time, Seward was presumed to be the favorite to be the Republican candidate in the 1860 election.
- The Anti-Slavery Bugle, December 24, 1859: An account of Brown's funeral appeared in an abolitionist newspaper.
- Biography of John Brown
- The Abolitionist Movement
- The Secret Six: Financial Backers of John Brown
- The Road to Civil War
Illustration: John Brown/Library of Congress
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