The True Story of Emperor Shields Green, the ‘Most Mysterious’ Harpers Ferry Raider

The Black Abolitionist’s Sacrifice in Joining John Brown Was Greater Than Cinematic Myth

Since John Brown’s invasion of Harpers Ferry, Virginia (today West Virginia) in 1859, little attention has been paid to the small band of men who followed him.

Sure, here and there, a writer has attempted to tell the stories of Brown’s raiders—that little army of highly principled and passionate men, many of them young abolitionists who shared their leader’s vision for the redemption of the nation from the powerful interests of chattel slavery. With neither payment nor promise of success, the Harpers Ferry raiders, failing to launch a liberation movement in …