Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Library of Congress)
Emerson and Thoreau were as impatient as John Brown concerning both orthodox American life in which slavery
was considered acceptable and the ministrations of a federal government that supported it. Five days after Brown's speech
at trial, Emerson delivered a lecture on courage. He said that Brown was brave, he was on the side of right, and he was
"the new saint awaiting his martyrdom, and who, if he shall suffer, will make the gallows glorious like the cross." The
positive image of Brown put forward by Emerson and Thoreau would perpetuate his memory and that of his cause for
generations of Americans.