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Transcendentalists, Abolitionists, John Brown and Beyond: How New England Writers Made John Brown a Hero

John Brown’s Raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal brought the United States one step closer to Civil War. While his actions were misunderstood and condemned in the North, a small but vocal group of New England writers and poets did their best to make Brown a hero.

Join Richard Smith for an entertaining and educational lecture and discussion on the aftermath of Brown’s Raid. Why did the New England literati adore Brown? How did Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott create the mythology of Brown-the-Abolitionist martyr?

Richard Smith is a writer and public historian who specializes in the Transcendentalists and the Anti-slavery movement. His books, “Quotations of Henry David Thoreau” and “A Short Biography of John Muir” will be available for purchase.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to

This event is Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Thoreau Farm and the Thoreau Society.


Oct 16 2018


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Thoreau Farm
341 Virginia Road, Concord MA 01742

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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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