is one of the earliest photographs of John Brown, made at
Springfield, Massachusetts by a black photographer. Some
historians think that the banner that Brown is holding may
be one with the letters "S.P.W." on it, the initials
standing for Brown's underground railroad idea - the Subterranean
plan called for establishing secret bases in the Allegheny
Mountains from which armed groups could attack a the property
of a slaveholder and also provide support to fugitive slaves
as they traveled north.
this portrait, Brown stands with one hand raised, as if
repeating the pledge he had made several years earlier to
dedicate his life to the destruction of slavery.
more information about Augustus Washington, the son of a
see the Civil war@Smithsonian
A Durable Memento