SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF JOHN BROWN [A Black Man's Memorial Broadside Tribute to Brown]. Isaiah H. Stephenson, John Brown.

SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF JOHN BROWN [A Black Man's Memorial Broadside Tribute to Brown].

No-place: I. H. Stephenson, 1891. First edition. 10 x 13.5" broadside printed in black on light tan cardstock with vine-motif double-rule border; illustrated with sketches of John Brown's Fort in Harper's Ferry and a fiery eyed John Brown. Stephenson's 26-line tribute appears in the lower third of the broadside and reads in part, "John Brown died as he had lived, a resolute, unyielding zealot.... No doubt from his acts came the great civil war which resulted in the freedom of a great race of cruelly wronged people. The name of John Brown will ever be held in reverence by the grateful colored people." Also prints extracts from Brown's speeches; "Tribute to a Martyr" (from Rev. E. H. Sears poem "Old John Brown"); and Frederick Douglass's description of Brown's appearance (latter 2 unattributed). Although we were able to find only glimpses into his life, judging by notices in historically Black and other newspapers from the period, Isaiah H. Stephenson was by all accounts an educated man who toured at least a few states giving speeches. He was President of the "Colored" chapter of the YMCA at the now-shuttered historically Black Storer College in Harper's Ferry, WV, and there delivered his "Oration on [Crispus] Attucks" commencement-day address, May 30th, 1893. We did find an article in the Portland Daily Press June 5, 1899, covering a speech given by Stephenson the evening before (headline: “The Negro Problem – Discussed by Isaiah H. Stephenson at Second Advent Church”) which provides scant biographical material, describing him as being from Arlington, WV, and “studying law at Lake Front [sic] University Law School, Chicago.” [For the record, the article makes clear Stephenson’s views on the “Problem” saying in part that “He discussed at some length what he called the miserable condition of the colored people in the South, which arose from the prejudice of a former slave holding set of people who wanted to take vengeance on the black man because he was no longer their property.” He also called for the “formation of alliances and anti-lynching societies...[asking] his hearers to lose no time in forming them.”] Fine.
Item #71726

Price: $350.00