Boston: J. M. Hewes, 1859. A significant and early tribute to abolitionist John Brown in the form of a sermon preached two days after his execution by the sympathetic Methodist Episcopal preacher Fales Henry Newhall (1827-1883) in Roxbury, MA. Newhall recounts Brown’s life leading up to the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry and compares him throughout with the Biblical figure Samson (Newhall referes to Brown as “Samson of Ossawattomie [sic]). As detailed in Jeremy Schipper and Nyasha Junior’s book, Black Samson: The Untold Story of an American Icon, by the 1850s abolitionists were frequently being compared with Samson and his battle against the Philistines and Brown himself used the analogy in letters before his death.
Newhall’s sermon was one of a number preached in the days and weeks following Brown’s execution, an execution Newhall believed symbolized the “mortal conflict between Christianity and American Slavery” (p. ). One scholar called it a “fusion of martyrdom and apocalyptic millennialism” (Trodd, p. 310), and it was reprinted in James Redpath’s landmark tribute to Brown, Echoes of Harper’s Ferry (1860), which collected lectures, speeches, sermons, testimonials, and poems about Brown, as well as his prison letters. Sabin 54993
Lacking original wrappers, evidence of disbinding; string bound text block (8 ½” x 5 ½”), 22 p. Abrasion along the spine, 1” closed tear beginning along the bottom of the first (title) page.
References: Trodd, Zoe. “John Brown’s Spirit: The Abolitionist Aesthetic of Emancipatory Martyrdom in Early Antilynching Protest Literature.” Journal of American studies 49, no. 2 (2015): 305–321; Junior, Nyasha, and Jeremy Schipper. Black Samson : the Untold Story of an American Icon. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020 (see in particular chapter 3, “Samson and the Making of American Martyrs). Item #11317