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Overlooked history: The African-American men who fought with John Brown

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Roughly Speaking episode 423:

Among John Brown's band of raiders were five African-American men, who have been largely overlooked by historians.

In the late summer of 1859, the fierce abolitionist John Brown assembled a small army in a farmhouse in rural Maryland and prepared to raid the federal arsenal across the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. Brown hoped to inspire a rebellion and establish a government of liberated slaves in the Appalachian Mountains. Among Brown's band of raiders were five African-American men, one of them an escaped slave, who have been largely overlooked by historians — John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary and Osborne Perry Anderson. Their stories are now told in "Five For Freedom," a new book by longtime journalist Eugene Meyer, a former reporter and editor of the Washington Post. In this episode: A visit to the Kennedy farm where Brown's army stayed in the weeks before the raid and a conversation with Gene Meyer about Brown and the five African-American raiders who joined his cause.

Eugene Meyer is scheduled to speak at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 pm.

Photo credit: Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)




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