Wednesday, November 4, 2009

John Brown on PBS

If you aren't the reading type and still want to learn about John Brown and his impact on American history, I would suggest you start with the PBS American Experience episode John Brown's Holy War that came out in 2000. This 90 minute DVD is quite well done and in standard documentary form covers Brown's life failures, his obsessive battle against slavery, and a close look at his most well known battle; Harpers Ferry.

In addition, PBS also has an accompanying web site for even more information and resources on Brown. On the site there are some interesting special features such as a virtual tour of the Kennedy Farm in Maryland where Brown would start his raid on Harpers Ferry; a history of the fire engine house that would become known as "John Brown's Fort;" an examination of the inspirational song "John Brown's Body;" and a look at Brown's life failures. There is an excellent timeline of Brown's life, and an interactive map that helps clear up Brown's confusingly rapid movements from place to place in the years leading up to Harpers Ferry. Also afforded are concise biographies of key individuals in Brown's life story such as the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Virginia governor Henry A. Wise. Finally, significant events such as the Pottawatomie Massacres, the 1858-59 winter Missouri slave raid, and Brown's hanging at Charles Town, Virgina on December 2, 1859 are also provided. The site is located at:

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