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Fri, 12.16.1859

Harpers Ferry Conspirators Are Hanged

(L t R) Green, Copland,Leary, Anderson, & Newby

On this date in 1859, two of the five Black abolitionists in the raid on Harpers Ferry, Shields Green and John Anthony Copeland, were hanged. The conspirators were put to death for their participation in John Brown’s revolt against slavery.

Copeland was led to the gallows shouting, “I am dying for freedom. I could not die for a better cause. I would rather die than be a slave.”


The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture: An Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillan USA, Simon & Schuster, New York
ISBN 0-02-864984-2

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