Lithograph entitled "John Brown meeting the slave-mother and her child on the steps of Charlestown jail on his way to execution," issued in the North during the Civil War, this dramatic portrayal of an apocryphal incident from the life of John Brown must have had unmistakable propagandistic overtones. The artist shows Brown calmly descending the steps of the Charles Town jail, hands tied behind his back. The caption reads "Regarding with a look of compassion a Slave-mother and Child who obstructed the passage on his way to the Scaffold. Captain Brown stooped and kissed the Child--then met his fate." Behind Brown a figure from the American Revolution, wearing a tricornered hat emblazoned "76," watches with concern. The flag of the state of...
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