City Desk

Photo: U Street Reporter

 U Street Reporter

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    150 years ago today Virginia hanged John Brown. John Brown was a great man. Today should be a holiday, & he should receive a posthumous pardon.

    From the NY Times:

    Brown reasonably saw the Appalachians, which stretch deep into the South, as an ideal base for a guerrilla war. He had studied the Maroon rebels of the West Indies, black fugitives who had used mountain camps to battle colonial powers on their islands. His plan was to create panic by arousing fears of a slave rebellion, leading Southerners to view slavery as dangerous and impractical.

    Second, he was held in high esteem by many great men of his day. Ralph Waldo Emerson compared him to Jesus, declaring that Brown would “make the gallows as glorious as the cross.” Henry David Thoreau placed Brown above the freedom fighters of the American Revolution. Frederick Douglass said that while he had lived for black people, John Brown had died for them. A later black reformer, W. E. B. Du Bois, called Brown the white American who had “come nearest to touching the real souls of black folk.”

    Du Bois was right. Unlike nearly all other Americans of his era, John Brown did not have a shred of racism. He had long lived among African-Americans, trying to help them make a living, and he wanted blacks to be quickly integrated into American society. When Brown was told he could have a clergyman to accompany him to the gallows, he refused, saying he would be more honored to go with a slave woman and her children.

    By the time of his hanging, John Brown was so respected in the North that bells tolled in many cities and towns in his honor. Within two years, the Union troops marched southward singing, “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, but his soul keeps marching on.” Brown remained a hero to the North right up through Reconstruction.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Bobby Lee & JEB Stuart hanged John 150 years ago today.

    Old John Brown’s body lies moldering in the grave,
    While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save;
    But tho he lost his life while struggling for the slave,
    His soul is marching on.

    John Brown was a hero, undaunted, true and brave,
    And Kansas knows his valor when he fought her rights to save;
    Now, tho the grass grows green above his grave,
    His soul is marching on.

    He captured Harper’s Ferry, with his nineteen men so few,
    And frightened "Old Virginny" till she trembled thru and thru;
    They hanged him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew,
    But his soul is marching on.

    John Brown was John the Baptist of the Christ we are to see,
    Christ who of the bondmen shall the Liberator be,
    And soon thruout the Sunny South the slaves shall all be free,
    For his soul is marching on.

    The conflict that he heralded he looks from heaven to view,
    On the army of the Union with its flag red, white and blue.
    And heaven shall ring with anthems o’er the deed they mean to do,
    For his soul is marching on.

    Ye soldiers of Freedom, then strike, while strike ye may,
    The death blow of oppression in a better time and way,
    For the dawn of old John Brown has brightened into day,
    And his soul is marching on

    John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave; (3X)
    His soul's marching on!

    Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah! his soul's marching on!

    He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord! (3X)
    His soul's marching on!

    John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back! (3X)
    His soul's marching on!

    His pet lambs will meet him on the way; (3X)
    They go marching on!

    They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree! (3X)
    As they march along!

    Now, three rousing cheers for the Union; (3X)
    As we are marching on!