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Freedom's Dawn

The Last Days of John Brown in Virginia

Louis DeCaro Jr.

John Brown’s failed raid on the federal armory in Harper’s Ferry Virginia served as a vital precursor to the Civil War, but its importance to the struggle for justice is free standing and exceptional in the history of the United States. In Freedom's Dawn, Louis DeCaro, Jr., has written the first book devoted exclusively to Brown during the six weeks between his arrest and execution. DeCaro traces his evolution from prisoner to convicted felon, to a prophetic figure, then martyr, and finally the rise of his legacy. In doing so he touches upon major biographical themes in Brown’s story, but also upon antebellum political issues, violence and terrorism, and the themes of political imprisonment and martyrdom.

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 476Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-3672-1 • Hardback • June 2015 • $47.00 • (£31.95)
978-1-4422-3673-8 • eBook • June 2015 • $44.00 • (£29.95)
Louis DeCaro, Jr., associate professor of history at The Alliance Theological Seminary in New York City, is the author of Fire from the Midst of You: A Religious Life of John Brown (2002) as well as works on Malcolm X and the urban church.
Section I: October’s Prisoner
Chapter 1. I Know These Mountains Well
Chapter 2. Hundreds of Slaves Were Ready
Chapter 3. A Swath of Blood
Chapter 4. Clothed in Rags and All His Human Weakness
Chapter 5. I Am Ready for My Fate

Section II: November’s Felon
Chapter 6. Prejudice Ruled That Hour
Chapter 7. Like a Block of Stone
Chapter 8. In the Uttermost Parts of the Sea
Chapter 9. The Days and Nights in Charlestown
Chapter 10. Editors, Letters, and Old Friends

Section III: When in the Perfect Scheme of God
Chapter 11. Virginia Quakes, the South Trembles in Sympathy
Chapter 12. The Ashes of the Past
Chapter 13. The Celebrity of the Day
Chapter 14. Now the Tinder is Ready
Chapter 15. Ten Thousand Photographs

Section IV: December’s Martyr
Chapter 16. Time Seems a Laggard

Chapter 17. The Majesty of Death

Chapter 18. Like a String that Snaps
Chapter 19. A Text for the Nation

Epilogue: A Terrible Vial

If you are in search of a meticulous recounting of John Brown's last six weeks, Freedom's Dawn will suit you.
Journal of American History

Louis DeCaro's treatment of the prophetic John Brown's last six weeks is a gem. Don't miss it!
Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary

No scholar has contributed more to John Brown studies than Louis DeCaro, and Freedom’s Dawn is a masterful new contribution to his indispensable body of work.
Steven Lubet, author of The “Colored Hero” of Harper’s Ferry: John Anthony Copeland and the War against Slavery and John Brown’s Spy: The Adventurous Life and Tragic Confession of John E. Cook

Freedom's Dawn is the most thoughtful and judicious rendering yet of John Brown's final weeks. In a moving narrative, Louis De Caro, Jr. presents Brown not as a crazed terrorist but as a determined, heroic prophet of human rights.
David S. Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist and Walt Whitman's America