01 July 2009
More Celebrating John Brown
We so often hear criticism today about "celebratory history" - especially if those celebrations involve Confederate war heroes. However, the silence regarding the "celebration" of John Brown is deafening. See my previous post regarding this here.
Now, read this story about the recent unveiling of a plaque about John Brown.
I think the plaque in this story is certainly appropriate and is done very well. Ironically, the print story refers to John Brown being "celebrated" while Tim Riford (the man unveiling the plaque) refers to the marines who "saved the day" [at Harper's Ferry]. Hmmm . . . the United States Marines, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee, "saved the day" against someone who is being "celebrated?" I'm confused.
Well-known Harper's Ferry park historian, Dennis Frye, was at this "celebration" about John Brown while another park historian, Gerry Gaumer, recently referred to Brown as a terrorist and compared his actions to those of the Taliban.
Perhaps they're just offering something for everyone? Could we be seeing a new tone of reconciliation?