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John Brown Farm, North Elba, c. 1940

John Brown Homestead
New York State Archives, NYSA_14297-87_2034
 
Document Description
Home of abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859), North Elba, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. Photograph taken circa 1940.
 
Questions
Why would the other supporters of John Brown be buried with him on the farm?
Why would New York State declare John Brown’s farm a memorial?
Compare this photograph to a recent photograph of John Brown's farmhouse. How has the house changed over the years?
 
Historical Challenges
Research the details of John Brown’s fight against slavery. What made him such an active abolitionist?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a persuasive essay arguing why John Brown’s farm should be considered a National Historic Landmark.
 
Resources
Everett, Gwen. John Brown, One Man Against Slavery. New York: Rizzoli, 1993. ISBN: 0847817024
Streissguth, Thomas. John Brown. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1999. ISBN: 1575053349
 

Historical Context
After John Brown's execution, his body was sent from Virginia to his farm in North Elba, New York, where he was buried.  He founded this farm to assist unfortunate African American men and lived there from 1849-1859.  Many years later, the bodies of his sons and followers who died in the raid were removed to the farm.  In 1895, the property was given to New York State, and a memorial was established, which includes the names of those buried at the farm.  The farm has become a State Historic Site and is open to the public.
 
Essential Question
How do individuals influence a culture and society?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how John Brown influenced American culture and society.