homepage logo

JCHS shows Strother’s sketches of John Brown

By Staff | Oct 16, 2009

This is a reminder that the Jefferson County Museum is displaying an outstanding exhibit of David Hunter Strother sketches penned in Charles Town in 1859 which documented the events surrounding John Brown’s raid, trial, and execution. Strother (aka Porte Crayon) was a Martinsburg artist who drew sketches of these events for Harpers Weekly newspaper, such as the one shown of the courtroom in the Jefferson County courthouse.

Because photography was not used in newspapers of 1859, newspapers used artists to illustrate their stories. Strother’s drawings are significant, because he was the only journalistic artist who attended all the John Brown events, from the raid to the execution. Please plan a visit to see these sketches soon, because the exhibit of facsimile drawings will close within the next two weeks. If you have a strong stomach, ask the Curator to see the post-execution sketch that’s not on display due to its vivid content.

– – –

Also, the Jefferson County Historical Society is pleased to announce the publication of its 2009 Annual Magazine, a special edition celebrating the John Brown Sesquicentennial. Copies are available at the Museum or online at http://jeffersonhistoricalwv.org/thestore.html. Be sure to specify you want the 2009 edition, at a cost of $10. The editor has this to say about this year’s Magazine:

“On October 16 through the 18th, one hundred and fifty years ago, John Brown and his followers created quite a scare in Jefferson County. As a hardcore abolitionist, Brown was determined to free the slaves. His raid on Harpers Ferry was to be the first step in his quest. His dream was quickly demolished, but his deed was certainly a catalyst for the great war of 1861.You will find that throughout this issue there is repetition as well as contradiction. It cannot be helped when reporting on a specific, controversial event such as the raid.”