Hear noted author Eugene Meyer discuss his latest book, Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. This talk is a partnership between the Museum and the Curious Iguana.
On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of 18 raiders descended on Harpers Ferry. 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 fighters were five African American men – John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, and Osborne Perry Anderson – whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader and who, even today, are little remembered. Only Anderson survived, later publishing the lone first-person account of the event that, most historians agree, was a catalyst to the catastrophic American Civil War that followed.
Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and raised, how they came together at that fateful time and place, and the legacies they left behind. It is an American story that continues to resonate.
The program will begin at 7:00 PM in the Delaplaine-Randall Conference Room at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. This is a free event, and there is no registration required. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Presented in partnership with The Curious Iguana.
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. Meyer has been the editor of the quarterly B’nai B’rith Magazine since 2009 and serves on the board of Washington Independent Review of Books, to which he also contributes reviews and essays. Much of Meyer’s writing is closely tied to his love of history. Following Chesapeake Countryand Maryland: Lost and Found…Again, Meyer’s latest book Five for Freedom will be published on June 1, 2018, by Chicago Review Press.