John Brown’s Harper Ferry Raid Timelines: The Catto Years

John Brown conducts a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry to free and arm enslaved people. His effort fails and he is executed. Philadelphia blacks hold a vigil at Shiloh Baptist Church during his hanging, while black homes, business and some churches were draped in black. Southern medical students countered the actions of the black community by strutting through the city speaking about how many “niggers” they owned. Brown’s body traveled through Philadelphia under cover on its way back to New York, due to concerns about violence by pro-slavery factions in the city. Many of Catto’s personal connections had close ties with John Brown, among them Thomas Dorsey and Ebenezer Bassett, who was identified in a letter John Brown carried in a letter in his vest pocket at his hanging.