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J.A. Whipple [Attributed to]
9 x 6.5 cm (visible)
Massachusetts Historical Society
Curatorial description (accessed: 16 November 2015)
This 1856 daguerreotype photograph by John A. Whipple depicts the abolitionist John Brown, best known for leading the raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Due to the violent tension between pro- and anti-slavery advocates, Brown came to believe that the only way to end slavery in the United States was through force. In October of 1856, he led a group of men to capture the weapons arsenal in Harpers Ferry. Brown wrongly believed many more would assist them, but the uprising was unsuccessful and Brown was captured and hung. He showed no regret through to his death, saying, "The crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood."