ISBN-10:
0674035178
ISBN-13:
9780674035171
Pub. Date:
10/15/2009
Publisher:
Harvard
John Brown's Trial

John Brown's Trial

by Brian McGinty
Current price is , Original price is $29.5. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

Overview

Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a “provisional army” of 21 men, Brown hoped to rouse the slaves in Virginia to rebellion. But he was quickly captured and, after a short but stormy trial, hanged on December 2, 1859.

Brian McGinty provides the first comprehensive account of the trial, which raised important questions about jurisdiction, judicial fairness, and the nature of treason under the American constitutional system. After the jury returned its guilty verdict, an appeal was quickly disposed of, and the governor of Virginia refused to grant clemency. Brown met his death not as an enemy of the American people but as an enemy of Southern slaveholders.

Historians have long credited the Harpers Ferry raid with rousing the country to a fever pitch of sectionalism and accelerating the onset of the Civil War. McGinty sees Brown’s trial, rather than his raid, as the real turning point in the struggle between North and South. If Brown had been killed in Harpers Ferry (as he nearly was), or condemned to death in a summary court-martial, his raid would have had little effect. Because he survived to stand trial before a Virginia judge and jury, and argue the case against slavery with an eloquence that reverberated around the world, he became a symbol of the struggle to abolish slavery and a martyr to the cause of freedom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674035171
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 658,565
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Brian McGinty is an attorney and writer specializing in American history and law.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  1. To Free the Slaves
  2. Carrying the War into Africa
  3. Framing the Charges
  4. The Indictment
  5. The Jury Is Summoned
  6. The Testimony Begins
  7. The Name and the Shadow of a Fair Trial
  8. The Quiet Was Deceptive
  9. The Verdict
  10. The Sentence
  11. The Execution
  12. Marching On

  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

McGinty casts the spotlight on one of the great courtroom dramas of the nineteenth century, the trial of John Brown. This is Brown as we have never seen him before--not the martyr, nor the fanatic, but a man in complete control, who manages to transform his treason trial into a searing indictment of slavery in America.

Thomas J. Craughwell

McGinty casts the spotlight on one of the great courtroom dramas of the nineteenth century, the trial of John Brown. This is Brown as we have never seen him before--not the martyr, nor the fanatic, but a man in complete control, who manages to transform his treason trial into a searing indictment of slavery in America.
Thomas J. Craughwell, author of Stealing Lincoln's Body

Steven Lubet

John Brown's Trial is an important book on an important subject. Brian McGinty's impressive research sheds much new light on a crucial--and previously underappreciated--event in American legal history.

Steven Lubet, author of Murder in Tombstone: The Forgotten Trial of Wyatt Earp

Frank J. Williams

There have been many books about John Brown, but none provides as comprehensive an account of the famous trial as does McGinty's. His well-written narrative is compelling and lucid. I especially appreciated his analysis of whether Brown received a fair trial. Here is another winner from the author of Lincoln and the Court.
Frank J. Williams, former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founding chair of The Lincoln Forum

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

John Brown's Trial 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago