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Course Description

Almost everyone has heard the Civil War marching song and knows that “John Brown’s body lies a-moldering in the grave.” But, who was this man who spoke with the moral certainty of an Old Testament Prophet while having no trouble shading the truth or committing murder? How did his actions in “Bleeding Kansas’’ and his raid on Harpers Ferry change American history? And, how, in the few weeks between his capture and execution, did he go from being almost universally reviled to a martyr who died to redeem America’s sin of slavery? His legacy as either a hero or domestic terrorist is still debated, but many historians now agree with Frederick Douglas who said: “If John Brown did not end the war that ended slavery, he did at least begin the war that ended slavery.” This class will be similar to the one Bill taught during the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 terms. Recommended readings will be provided as PDFs or web links.

John Brown—Prophet, Terrorist, Hero?
Bill Saunders, OLLI Member
2 Mondays, 1:30pm - 3:30pm (4/29, 5/6)
Class will be held in-person at Brooksby Village in Peabody.

Affiliated With:

University College