Five for Freedom (Hardcover)
The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army
Chicago Review Press, 9781613735718, 304pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Late on the evening of October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of 18 raiders descended on Harpers Ferry at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. In an ill-fated attempt to incite a slave insurrection, they seized the federal arsenal, took hostages and retreated to a fire engine house where they barricaded themselves until a contingent of US Marines battered their way in on October 18. The raiders were routed, and several were captured. Soon after, they were tried, convicted and hanged. Among Brown's raiders were five African Americans whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader and, even today, are little remembered. Two--John Copeland and Shields Green--were executed. Two others--Dangerfield Newby and Lewis Leary--died at the scene. Of the five, only Osborne Perry Anderson escaped and lived to publish the lone insider account of the event that, most historians agree, was a catalyst to the Civil War. Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and how they came together at this time and place. Their lives and deaths affected future generations, not just of their descendants, but of us all.
About the Author
Eugene L. Meyer is an award-winning journalist and author and a former longtime reporter and editor at the Washington Post whose work has also appeared in the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, and many other national and regional publications.