Portrait of John Brown, by David Bustill Bowser,1865.
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Oil on Canvas portrait, head and shoulders, of John Brown wearing military clothing and sporting a long beard

Credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia

From the 1854 to 1860 Frances Harper travelled throughout the northern states and Canada lecturing on abolition and the need for the education and elevation of the black race. While doing so she made many friends, including John Brown. After Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859, Harper stayed with his wife at William Still’s home during Brown’s trial for treason, contributed money to his family, and wrote one of her most famous poems “Bury Me in a Free Land,” to show her support of Brown and his co-conspirators.

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