Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Study Guide John Brown Summary & Analysis

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In this brief elegy, Emerson attempts to enshrine John Brown—who led an 1858 slave revolt in Harpers Ferry, Virginia—as a true American hero. After leading an unsuccessful assault on the federal arsenal, Brown and his followers were arrested; Brown was hanged on order of the governor of Virginia. Emerson calls Brown "an idealist" who believed in the Declaration of Independence and the "golden rule." He calls on his contemporaries to provide relief to the family of John Brown and to "secure freedom and independence in Massachusetts."

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This section contains 92 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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