History is written by...people. People with their own agendas, biases, opinions, and artistic flairs. Over time, events and people are romanticized or vilified. Even though the evidence might point to a very different reality. Frankly, it's fascinating to me how we've come to accept certain historical stories as facts. And since I was just in Gettysburg, here are some of my favorites from that era.
John Brown. He's known as a devout abolitionist, and credited with triggering the Civil War that ended slavery. As an elementary school student I was taught that he was a hero, but there is certainly another side to that story. Like why did he take it upon himself and his band of sons to travel to the homes of pro-slavery advocates in Franklin County, KS, order them outside, interrogate them, and assasinate them? Pre-Harper's Ferry, John Brown had dropped out of his Congregational ministry studies and tried and discarded careers as a tanner, wool merchant, land surveyor, and farmer. He was married twice, father to 20 children, and directly influenced by his father, a staunch abolitionist. Some could and would say he was a shiftless loser. Post-Harper's Ferry, he was a martyr for racial equality.
|Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry|
|In the movie Lincoln, Seward takes it upon himself to engage in the backroom dealing necessary to get the 13th Amendment passed.|
|Confederates walking straight into cannon and rifle fire in Gettysburg (Courtesy of the movie Gettysburg.)|