John Brown + F. Douglass

In today’s lecture, we learned that Brown met Douglass in Detroit after the successful Missouri excursion(freeing some 11 slaves into Canada) that was “without the snapping of a gun on either side”. Earlier in their careers, the men met in November of 1847, in Springfield Massachusetts, wherein Brown explained his plans for the southern invasion and the Subterranean Pass Way.   The plan was to utilize an armed force of blacks based in the mountains to attack slavery with Douglass.  “My plan then is to take at first about twenty-five picked men, and begin on a small scale; supply them arms and ammunition, post them in squads of fives on a line of twenty-five miles, the most persuasive and judicious of whom shall go down to the fields from time to time, as opportunity offers, and induce the slaves to join them, seeking and selecting the most restless and daring.”

Query: What do we know about Douglass’ response to the plan between 1847-1959? He seems to have responded negatively just prior to the Harpers Valley fiasco…
Posted in Discussion, Primary Sources
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House Divided Project

Course Professor
Matthew Pinsker:
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013

Course Producer
Lance Warren:
Gilder Lehrman Institute
New York, NY 10036