Allegorical illustration dating from 1863 entitled "John Brown exhibiting his hangman." The illustration shows Brown rising from the grave to accuse Jefferson Davis (dressed in women's clothing), who sits imprisoned in a birdcage hanging from a gallows. Below, stereotypical minstrel figures frolic about joyously. Davis had nothing to do with Brown's execution, but is used in this context as a symbol of the morally bankrupt, pro-slavery Confederacy. John Brown (1800-1859), a white abolitionist, attempted to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a military arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859. He was defeated by a detachment of Marines led by Colonel Robert E. Lee. John Brown was the first white man to use violence in an attempt to...
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