Tuesday, April 5, 2011

John Brown, Abolitionist: "The Prophet"

Another key player in the events that eventually led to the beginning of the Civil War was the abolitionist, John Brown. I created this image in 2009 after researching his life, and several of my sources contained photographs of him from various eras. I was immediately struck by the short period of time that separated the two images I eventually selected to create this painting: the first was taken in 1847, the second only TWELVE YEARS late, in 1859! To be fair, in the second photo, he had grown the long, flowing beard in hopes that it might help disguise his appearance. Still, that's a pretty dramatic change to have occur in one's appearance, in only twelve years; most likely indicative of the tremendous stress his life and abolitionist activities created for him.

I'm honored to report that in October of 2009, the U.S. Marine Corps selected this image for the cover of their history magazine, Fortitudine,  to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Brown's raid on the arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). To see this and more pieces of art in my Civil War 150 Project, please visit my website, http://www.civilwarfineart.com/ .


  1. Excellent picture! John Brown is a fascinating person to read about.

  2. Thanks, Linda -- I appreciate your feedback!