John Brown was Hung on December 2

This is the day they hung John Brown for his failed raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.

As one history website puts it:

In the mid-1850s, abolitionist John Brown went to Kansas Territory to fight against the spread of slavery. Then in 1859, he came east to Virginia, hoping to liberate slaves. On October 16, he and a small group of militants seized the federal armory in Harper’s Ferry and its weapons, but waited in vain for the uprising they hoped would follow. The next day, U.S. Army officers Robert E. Lee and J. E. B. Stuart brought in a company of marines and stormed the fire-engine house where Brown had retreated. They captured him and his band, and killed two of his sons. Brown was hanged, along with six other conspirators. In death he became a martyr for abolitionists. “I am worth inconceivably more to hang,” he said, “than for any other purpose.”

His little band had both white and black conspirators, and significant financial support from white and black abolitionists. Still, not only did white conservatives react negatively and in the extreme to his raid after it happened, but some African American leaders also feared it would make things worse for the abolition cause — and that Brown as a white man had ignored black dissenting voices on the matter. There was much discussion over the issue of black people needing black, not white, leaders of resistance to their racial oppression.

Take Action: DreamAct Vote Tomorrow in U.S. House of Representatives

We’ve written here before about the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would enable the children of immigrants to apply to become permanent residents and put them on the path to citizenship.   Under the DREAM Act, young people who meet a number of requirements, including: arriving in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, living here for at least five consecutive years, have a high school diploma or GED, and demonstrate “good moral character,” which in this context means no criminal justice involvement, would be eligible to apply for citizenship.  While there’s plenty of room to criticize the DreamAct for setting up a distinction between “good” immigrants and “bad” immigrants, the fact is, tens of thousands of children grow up in this country as de facto citizens but then are blocked from pursuing their dreams of a college education or military service because of their de jure legal status.   It diminishes all of us as a society when these hard-working young people are not allowed to pursue their dreams, or worse yet, forced to leave the country.

2010 11 13 - 0877-0879 - Washington DC - US Capitol
Creative Commons License photo credit: thisisbossi

There’s more detailed information from the National Immigration Law Center here (pdf).  If you’re ready to take action, now’s the time. The vote in the House is set for TOMORROW AT 10AM! Tell your representative to vote YES. The general line for the House is 866-967-6018.