The Taking of the John Brown Bell
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The Taking of the John Brown Bell

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The fascinating account of the men and motives that led to the taking of the John Brown Bell from Harpers Ferry by a group of men from Co. I, 13th Mass Infantry during the Civil War. And the equally ...

The fascinating account of the men and motives that led to the taking of the John Brown Bell from Harpers Ferry by a group of men from Co. I, 13th Mass Infantry during the Civil War. And the equally fascinating account of the completion of John Brown's task by these same soldiers.

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    The Taking of the John Brown Bell The Taking of the John Brown Bell Presentation Transcript

    • The Taking of the John Brown Bell
    • Presented by Paul Brodeur and Alan Chamberlain For the The Marlborough Historical Society With the aid of Students from Marlborough High School Monday, September 26, 2011 The 150 Anniversary of the Taking of the John Brown Bell
    • Our Special Thanks to the Following Sources for Making This Presentation Possible
    • 13 th Mass Website at www.13thmass.org Copyright 2008 Brad Forbush And especially for all the personal assistance from Brad Forbush
    • The John Brown Bell
      • Copyright 2008 by Joan Abshire
      • (Available as a free download from the link above.)
      • And most particularly for all of Joan's assistance, direction and inspiration.
    • Cyrus Felton's two volumes of local history: Four Hundred Fifty Events Six Hundred Events Charles Hudson History of Marlborough Ella Bigelow Historical Reminiscences View the Hudson and Bigelow books, as well as other histories of Marlborough online at the Histories of Marlborough .
    • The Marlboro Daily Enterprise 1892 – 1920 & The Marlboro Mirror 1860-1865
      • With a special thank you to Kathy Lizotte Lynde for past, present and ongoing research which are the basis for much of what we know about the slaves of Harpers Ferry in Marlboro.
    • John Buczek's History of Marlboro Website at http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~historyofmarlborough/contents.htm#Fire containing Paul Polewacyk's History of the Marlborough Fire Department
    • The Ringing of the John Brown Bell in Marlboro on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of John Brown’s Raid October 16, 2009
    • What is the John Brown Bell
      • Bell associated with abolitionist John Brown who was captured in the Engine House of the Federal Armory in Harpers Ferry (now West Virginia). The bell hung in the Engine House.
      • Probably the most important Civil War era artifact north of Gettysburg.
      • Considered the second most important bell in America after the Liberty Bell.
      • This makes it the most important bell in America that still rings.
      • It has been in Marlborough, Massachusetts since 1892.
    • On Fast Day, which occurred Sept 26, 1861, Lieut. David L. Brown and fifteen others of the Company I crossed the river and procured a rope at a store nearby, then climbed to the roof of the engine house, disconnected the bell from the belfry and proceeded to lower it. Just as it reached the edge of the roof, the rope parted and the bell dropped striking on the flagstone, chipped off a few pieces from the flange, but not enough however to injure the tone of the bell. We then loaded it on the scows and took it across the river. Lysander Parker, under oath, 1909
    • 1. Absolutely Abolitionist Marlboro 2. The Motivation of the Fire Department 3. The Subject of John Brown's Raid 4. The Decision Makers 5. The Taking of the Bell 6. The Aftermath 7. Timeline of the Bell in Marlborough
    • Absolutely Abolitionist Marlborough
    • Hon. John Parker Hale
      • Dec 25, 1846 Hon. John Parker Hale of NH lectured in Marlborough Town Hall on “War, Slavery, and Abolitionism”.
      • Hale was newly elected to the Senate from NH and champion of the Free Soil movement determined to keep slavery out of the new territories.
      • He was a staunch opponent of the war with Mexico.
      • In 1852, John Parker Hale would be the Free Soil candidate for President, losing to Democrat Franklin Pierce.
      • The Free Soil party would be one of the key groups that led to the formation of the Republican Party in 1855.
    • O. W Albee
      • Obadiah Wheelock Albee was born in Milford , MA. And graduated from Brown University in 1832.
      • His first position was as preceptor of the local Gates Academy in 1833. The Academy was located near the present Walker Building on Main St., and became Marlboro High School in 1851. Albee then became its first Principal.
      • Albee was an ardent abolitionist and Free Soil activist, and was instrumental in organizing the local Free Soil Meeting in 1848.
      • Apart from his role as educator, he was the State Representative for 4 years, the State Senator for 2 years, and a trial judge for 4 years.
      • Almost every significant abolitionist activity in the Marlboro area bears his imprint.
    • Timeline 1848: Marlborough Free Soil Meeting 800 in attendance (Cyrus Felton) 1848: Harpers Ferry firehouse is built to house the equipment and fire bell for the National Armory (National Park Service)
    • Timeline Sept 18, 1850: The Fugitive Slave Act is passed, requiring any Federal Marshall or other official to aid in the return of slaves to their rightful owners. This begins the acceleration in the Underground Railroad throughout the country. A number of houses in Marlborough and Feltonville are converted to assist in the conveyance of slaves to Canada.
    • Timeline Nov 11 1850: The Substance of Resolutions passed this day in Marlborough Town Meeting. (Cyrus Felton) “ Massachusetts cannot become the hunting ground for slaves.” “ We most decidedly disapprove of the Fugitive Slave Law, and will not aid, but will in all suitable and proper ways resist its execution.” But very few voted nay.
    • Timeline April 12 th 1851 the East Meeting house bell tolled 75 times because Thomas Sims, a colored person was taken from Boston back to Georgia as a slave. It was 75 years since Independence had been declared. (Cyrus Felton)
    • The West Village of Marlboro, centered around the Second Parish Church (Unitarian), was a hotbed of Abolitionism led by Rev. Horatio Alger, father of noted Rags to Riches author Horatio Alger Jr. Within 20 years the West Village would become home to many French Canadians who had experienced abolition in Canada since 1833 and tended to vote Republican. Was this pure coincidence?
    • The Unitarian Church
      • Rev. Horatio Alger
      • “ Mr. Alger’s pastorate lasted fourteen years. It was marked by ability, faithfulness, and especially by aggressive action on the slavery question.”
      • History of the Second Parish Church
      • by Edward Farwell Hayward
    • The Unitarian Church
      • Rev. Horatio Alger
      • “… it was the duty of those churches who believed Slaveholding to be a sin, it being in diametrical opposition to the principles and spirit of Christianity, and put on record their determination to have no fellowship as Christians with it or those who are guilty of it.”
      • Quoted in
      • History of the Second Parish Church
      • by Edward Farwell Hayward
    • The State Disunion Convention held at Worcester, Mass. in January of 1857 was a unique exercise in northern secessionist thought.
    •  
    • (Gathered) for the purpose of considering the “practicability, probability, and expediency of a separation of the Free and Slave States”. Organizer: Rev. T. W. Higginson (Member of John Brown’s Secret Six) Among the six Vice Presidents: William Lloyd Garrison, Boston (publisher of The Liberator) Charles Brigham, Marlboro
    • “ Uncle Charles Brigham, ... a great temperance laborer and anti-slavery man, very public spirited and one of the founders and leading men of the Unitarian Church (Feltonville).” Ella Bigelow Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough
    • “ If the Union cannot stand the practical working of the truths enunciated in the Declaration of American Independence, it seems to me its value has been calculated. I am not, however, prepared to believe that the triumph of freedom requires the dissolution of the Union.” O.W. Albee Letter to the Worcester Disunion Convention
    • The Motivation of The Marlborough Fire Department
    • Fighting Fires in the Agricultural New England Towns in the Olden Days
      • Mostly chimney fires or barn fires
      • Strategy: Save the people, save the animals, save the tools
      • Methods: buckets, buckets and more buckets
    • Population Growth in Marlboro 1830-1860
      • 1830: 2,074
      • 1840: 2,092
      • 1850: 2,941
      • 1855: 4,288
      • 1860: 5,910
    • In 1850 Marlboro there were three villages, each distinct enclaves of small factories and closely packed multi story houses surrounding small commercial areas and a central main Church. All areas between the villages remained farmland with sparse housing.
    • The Villages of Marlborough 1856
    • The black circle shows the area between the present Mechanic St and Bolton St. There were no residences except the Howe house at the top of the circle. The white area shows that there were no homes between Fairmount Hill and the present Howe St. It was a swamp. The red line shows that there were no buildings between the present Monument Sq. and the present City Hall. Washington St. was a direct path through a field from the East Village Church to the cemetery. By the mid 1860’s these areas were substantially filled in.
    • The New Reality to Fighting Fires
      • Buckets weren't good enough
      • Buildings were bigger, closer together
      • A more disciplined approach with more manpower and better equipment was needed.
    • This was the answer. An 1849 model hand tub pumper from the Howard & Davis Co. Boston. This is the actual pumper from the Marlboro East Village Torrent Company.
    • Timeline
      • 1849: Town meeting voted to purchase three new hand tubs from the Howard & Davis Co. Boston
      • 1853: By an act of the Mass. State Legislature approval was received to create a Fire Dept.
      • 1855: Marlborough Fire Department was formed
    • Sylvester Bucklin
      • Pastor of First Church from 1806 – 1832
      • At an advanced age became the champion of the Marlboro Fire Dept
      • By 1860 there were 87 volunteers prepared for fire duty.
      • A large percentage of these men became members of Co. I and Co. F of the 13 th Regiment.
    • Marlborough Firefighters and the Fireman's Muster July 4, 1849, the first fireman's hand engine muster was held in Bath, Maine. Marlborough that year received three new engines and two years later were contestants for the first time. Since that time Marlborough's engines have been prominent in most musters held in New England where they originated. Several of the largest, and best, were held in Marlborough". H.H Esterbrook, Westboro, circa 1922 Quoted in Paul Polewacyk's history of the Marlboro Fire Department on John Buczek's Marlboro History Website
    • Marlborough Firefighters and the Fireman's Muster
      • Each village competed separately and an intense rivalry developed. It was the first instance of competition between Marlboro and what is now Hudson, a tradition that continues to this day.
      • There developed a sense of loyalty, community spirit and dedication to discipline within the members of the Fire Dept which continued to their time in service to the Union.
    • The Subject of John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
    • John Brown
      • Born in 1800 in Connecticut, moved around in his youth, partly in Massachusetts.
      • In 1846 he moved to Springfield, MA and became an expert in the wool industry.
      • His many travels brought him in contact with most of the leading abolitionists of his day.
      • Eventually, he developed relationships with the Secret Six, abolitionists mostly from Massachusetts who became his financial backers.
      • In October of 1859 he led the raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, where his target was the Federal Armory, his first stop on a mission to free the slaves of the South.
    • An overhead view of Harpers Ferry. The Potomac River descends from the north and the Shenandoah comes in from the west. The white arrow is the relative position of the Engine House and the Red arrow is the substructure of the railroad bridge destroyed by the Confederates in the summer of 1861.
    • The bridge from the Maryland side looking at Harpers Ferry. The buildings left of center are the Wager Hotel buildings and just to the right a small water tower. Behind the tower sits the Engine House (not visible). Historic Photo Collection, National Historic Parks
    • These overhead street maps are from The Business Enterprises and Commercial Development of Harpers Ferry Lower Town Area, 1803-1861 by Charles W. Snell The circled area is the water tower. The Potomac River is to the right.
    • The Wager House Hotel complex including the Potomac Restaurant/Hotel was at times run as separate hotels but mostly as a single unit. The slaves of our story all would have worked in this area.
    • The Engine House where John Brown was isolated sat behind a fence and gate within the Armory complex and stood throughout the Civil War although all the buildings around it were totally destroyed.
    • The Raid, The Bell, & The Wager Hotel
      • On the evening of October 16, 1859 John Brown and an 'army' of 23 men conspired to take hostages and take a large cache of weapons from the Armory.
      • Things immediately went bad and Brown decided to isolate a portion of the group with the hostages into the small firehouse that was used to protect the Armory.
      • The firehouse bell was a mere observer of events, but some later asserted that it was Brown's intention to ring the bell to promote a slave uprising. Makes for a good story.
      • The Wager Hotel was used as an overnight prison for captured abolitionists and, as William Geary reports, as a source of food for John Brown's prisoners.
    • Born a Slave But Made His Escape to Freedom Exciting Days In the Life of a Marlboro Barber “ Young (William) Geary was one of those who carried the breakfasts to the imprisoned men and in this way he had the opportunity of meeting John Brown.” Marlboro Daily Enterprise Wednesday, June 5, 1901
    • John Brown
      • Eight, including John Brown were captured, tried and hung.
      • Robert E. Lee commanded the contingent of Marines that stormed the firehouse. J. E. B. Stuart was his aide-de-camp who spoke with Brown about surrender. Brown refused.
      • John Brown was hung in Charletown, Virginia on December 2, 1859. Stonewall Jackson and John Wilkes Booth were there. Remarkably, when Booth was caught and killed after the assassination of Lincoln, a photo of his fiance was found in his pocket. None other than the daughter of famed abolitionist John Parker Hale who had spoken in Marlboro, Christmas, 1846..
      • Cyrus Felton noted that on December 2, there was “an indignation meeting at Marlborough Town Hall, relating to the execution of John Brown in VA, a martyr to the cause of Human Liberty.'
    • from the Marlboro Enterprise – Monday, 30 May 1914 Mrs. Fanny Stanley, Who Died Saturday, Knew John Brown Personally “….when he was hung, she saw him go to his death on the scaffold. She was in a hotel at the time. She knew that he was to go to his death on that day and climbing to the topmost part of the hotel she saw the enactment of a tragedy that has gone down the ages. Mrs. Stanley said that when the drop was pulled, his face turned toward the north, prophetic of future development.”
    •   “ In my Company was a man who knew every secret hiding place in the mountains around Harper's Ferry and Maryland Heights and it was whispered that he had been one of John Brown's men who had escaped capture,  he would point out places where he had been with Brown's band -  his name was Ledra Coolidge, a quiet, earnest sort of man.” Charles Roundy, Co. F
    • There were no known, provable connections between the John Brown Raiders and Marlboro except perhaps the depth of their hatred of slavery.
    • The Decision Makers Concerning the Bell The following men from Co. I, 13 th Regiment were among the older men from Marlboro who were either involved in the taking of the John Brown Bell or part of the chain of command. There were likely others who were probably killed during the war.
    • Capt. Moses Palmer
      • Born in Derry, NH
      • Moved to Marlboro in early 1850's to learn shoe-cutting. Went to Groton to superintend a new factory for Bigelow and Randall in 1854.
      • In 1858 he returned to Marlboro and opened a shoe factory with his brother until the War broke out.
      • Began as the elected Captain of Co. I, but was demoted to 1 st Lieut. When Governor Andrews made the political appointment of R.C. Schriber as Captain.
      • Schriber was depicted as a coward and a fraud. By October 1861 he had begun to seek other opportunities leaving Palmer as acting Captain. Later, the position was made official.
      • Palmer was not involved in the taking of the Bell but would surely have taken part in any discussion concerning its fate.
    • Lt. David Brown
      • Brown was a carpenter who had a fire in his shop in 1851, and was a foreman of the Torrent Fire Co. (East Village)
      • He was named for his courage in Joseph Barry's book, “The Strange Tale of Harpers Ferry”
      • Elected as 1 st Lieut., he was bumped by the Shriber episode and reinstated in July.
    • Sergeant William Barnes
      • William Barnes operated the Middlesex House Hotel on Main St.
      • He was also a member of the Torrent Fire Co.
      • His parent's family home had once been used as a quarantine home during Small Pox outbreaks and there was evidence that it may have been used as an Underground RR site as well.
    • The Middlesex House Hotel was once the Thayer Tavern built in the early 1800’s. It was demolished in the 1980’s. Rowe’s Funeral Home is to the left.
    • Lauriman Russell
      • Lauriman H. Russell was born in 1820 making him, at 41, one of the oldest of the recruits in Marlboro. He was incorrectly listed as 34 in the Regimental records. He mustered in as a bugler.
      • He was from a large family of 17 children who lived at the Peter Rice house, home of the Marlboro Historical Society on Elm St.
      • He was a Civil Engineer and made a number of maps used in the war, including one of Harpers Ferry.
      • He lost two brothers in the war.
    • Russell’s advertisement in the Marlboro Mirror. O.W.Albee listed as a reference.
    • The Taking of the John Brown Bell
      • Most of the information on the taking of the John Brown Bell comes from two sources: an address given in April, 1901 by James Gleason, and the account given under oath by Lysander Parker in December, 1909 and later made into a booklet.
      • It is interesting to note that neither of these men were decision makers, but had key roles in the telling of the story. James Gleason was a 17 year old drummer and Lysander Parker was a 22 year old Private at the time of the story.
      • We lean heavily on local historian Joan Abshire's wonderful booklet on the Bell written in 2008. Other resources were found on John Buczek's local website.
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • September 14, 1861 a map was drawn, probably by Lauriman H. Russell showing the major features of Harpers Ferry, including John Brown's Fort. It was in the possession of William Barnes and comes to us through the generosity of his family.
    • The map is drawn from the Maryland side with possible targets listed with reference numbers. The Engine House is number 7 and there is a prominent star beneath its position. (See next slide)
    •  
    • Map signed L.H. Russell CE (Civil Engineer)
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • September 25: Sgt. William Barnes notes in his journal, “Co I & K went to Harpers Ferry. Co I got two bells.”
      • The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 1861:
      • “ General Banks Column, Sandy Hook, Sept 30. On Thursday last (Sept 26) Major Gould and Captain Scriber of the 13 th Massachusetts, under the guidance of Major McDaniels of the special service went over to Harpers Ferry and succeeded in recovering two valuable bells belonging to our Government, one of which weighed 1700 and the other 900 pounds., together with a fire engine and other articles captured by the Rebels.”
    • Analysis of These Accounts
      • In the traditional telling of the story of the Bell, these details were left out. Sgt. Barnes’ account was believed to have been related to the Bell, but its improper dating was a problem. This confirms that the date was either miswritten or misread.
      • The involvement of a ‘special service’ member moves the activity from one driven by the local firemen to a more broader activity driven by the special service and targeting Harpers Ferry Confederate sympathizers.
    • Analysis of These Accounts
      • More importantly, the newspaper account shows that the taking of the Bell was universally known by everyone up to the highest command level of the region, General Banks. This verifies the probability that permission was granted from a higher level than Major Gould.
      • However, since there was no mention of the exact source of the bells, it’s quite possible that the smaller bell’s connection to John Brown was not considered.
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • Gleason: “Our Company got it into their head that it would have the bell and send it home for the fire department. So it was taken off the building and carried across the river and instead of taking it to Washington it was dumped into the canal and stayed there a while, until I think we got leave of our Major Gould to keep it.”
      • In an earlier interview in 1893 the story of dumping the Bell into the canal is seen as an action driven by Gleason himself. The column has so many obvious errors of fact, though, that the interview loses all credibility. Regardless, it is possible that the intent was to avoid placing the Bell on the scrap metal canal boat destined for Washington. Once that boat had departed, the chances of getting permission to send it to Marlborough were probably much greater.
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • Lysander Parker: “Realizing that our treasure was the property of Uncle Sam, we thought best to consult proper authority before proceeding further, and immediately through Major Gould, Provost Marshall of the13th at Sandy Hook, we made direct application to the Government for it and in due season received permission from the War Department to appropriate the bell.”
      • Notice that in Gleason’s account the permission stops at Major Gould whereas in Parker’s account the asking is immediate and through Gould to the War Department who issues the permission. Neither storyteller was in position to know for sure.
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • The Role of Major Gould:
      • Major Gould was considered a great leader by all of his men, and he loved to go into battle with the men of the 13 th .
      • In the aftermath of the Battle of Bolivar Heights, Major Gould was disappointed with the official reports and press coverage which minimized the contributions of his men.
      • Question: Did his anger at his commanders affect in any way his decisions about the Bell?
      • Major Gould died of wounds received at Petersburg, April, 1864. At the time he was a Colonel with the 59 th MA Reg.
    • Timeline for the Bell
      • Parker: At some point placed on the canal boat “Charles McCardell” which was used as the officers' quarters until on October 31, 1861, they left for Williamsport.
      • At Williamsport, they developed a relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Ensminger who owned some canal boats.
      • James Gleason got to know them well, as he would bring flour to Mrs. Ensminger to bake bread for the regiment.
      • When they left for battle on March 1, 1862, the Bell was left with the Ensmingers.
    • The Aftermath
    • Capt. Moses Palmer
      • Wounded 3 times at 2 nd Bull Run including a bullet that passed through his upper neck and jaw, wounded slightly at Fredericksburg, and received a crippling wound at Gettysburg. He was on crutches the rest of his life.
      • Prior to the war he married Martha Green of Groton and returned to Groton after the war.
      • He became a successful farmer, served 12 years as a selectman, and served as a state rep and state senator.
    • Lt. David Brown
      • He was promoted to Captain and after resigning with the 13 th in March of 1863, took up with Co. E of the 5 th Mass Regiment where he mustered out as Captain in November of 1864.
      • There is a reference to him as constable in Marlboro in 1865, and he was on the committee that erected the Civil War Monument at Monument Sq. in 1868.
      • He died in 1869 at the age of 41.
    • Sergeant William Barnes
      • Badly wounded and lost a leg at 2 nd Bull Run. Nursed to health by Clara Barton and his wife Arathusa.
      • Went into the insurance business after the war. His wife, Arathusa, was the moving force behind a GAR support group for wounded Civil War veterans.
      • Together, they continued the family tradition of community service.
    • Lauriman Russell
      • Detailed as Asst. Engineer in Convalescent Camp, Alexandria, Va.
      • Discharged from the army on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability, Dec. 23 1863.
      • Moved to Winthrop after the war. Continued to work as an Engineer.
    • Of the sixteen men who took the John Brown Bell seven died during the war and one shortly after. We can conclude that the men responsible for the taking of the Bell were men of heroic stature. Men who fought and died or were horribly wounded. To these men as to so many others we owe the preservation of the Union.
    • “ I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say. In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted, the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter, when I went into Missouri and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side, moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale. That was all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.” John Brown’s final speech.
    • The Object of John Brown's Raid The Slaves of Harpers Ferry
    • The following individuals were the object of John Brown’s Raid. Slaves who lived in Harpers Ferry and at one time or another worked as slaves in the Wager Hotel complex.
    • Fannie (Geary) Stanley and Arenia Geary (from Fannie's obituary in The Marlboro Enterprise, Monday, May 30, 1914)
      • “ With her mother, she worked in a hotel not far from her birthplace.”
      • She witnessed John Brown’s arrest and removal to Charlestown.
      • “ Later still, when he was hung, she saw him go to his death on the scaffold.“
      • “ When the war swept over the country she was working at the same (Wager) hotel, and by dint of extra effort she and her mother accumulated enough money to take them to the north.”
      • “ About that time soldiers of the 13th Mass. Regt. were stationed in that vicinity and Mrs. Stanley, making their acquaintance, came north with them. The soldiers were from Marlboro and by their advice daughter and mother came here.”
    • This photo was taken at Williamsport, MD, probably by George L.Crosby a photographer and artist from Marlboro who had signed up with Co. F and brought his equipment with him. The camp follower slaves were known as ‘contraband’. There is every possibility that the two women to the right are Arenia and Fanny Geary, though without pictures to compare there is no way of knowing for sure. (enlargement following slide)
    •  
    • Fannie (Geary) Stanley and Arenia Geary (from Fannie's obituary in The Marlboro Enterprise, Monday, May 30, 1914)
      • “ The young colored girl secured employment in a hotel, where Dr. C. L. Cutler's residence is now located. “ Sgt. William Barnes Middlesex House Hotel was owned and operated by someone else at the time, but it seems like more than just coincidence that Fannie ends up here.
    • Fannie (Geary) Stanley and Arenia Geary (from Fannie's obituary in The Marlboro Enterprise, Monday, May 30, 1914)
      • “ She attended the Washington st. school when over 30 years of age, and was immensely popular with teachers and pupils alike. When she finished her education she was remarkably adept at reading, figuring and penmanship.”
      • “ She married John Stanley, a die maker, and he died about 12 years ago. She leaves a daughter, Mrs. Ella Stanley (Geary) . She was a member of the First Baptist church. The funeral will take place at the First Baptist church this Monday afternoon at 3:30.”
    • from the Marlboro [MA] Enterprise – Tuesday, 31 May, 1914 FUNERAL OF MRS. STANLEY HELD IN BAPTIST CHURCH
      • “ Lysander P. Parker, who is probably the only survivor of those who helped to bring the historic John Brown bell to Marlboro, and who was one of the soldiers of the 13th Mass. that advised the woman to come to Marlboro, was present at the funeral.”
    • William H.H Geary (From an interview in the Marlboro Enterprise, June 5, 1901)
      • “ He was born he said, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. ... His father and mother were the parents of sixteen children- all the property of Rev. Robert DOUGLAS, a clergymen of the Dutch Reformed church.”
      • “ He was later sent to work in a hotel in Harpers Ferry.”
      • “ After the outbreak of the war he left Harpers Ferry with Gen. Patterson's division as a follower of the 19 th NY regiment....(he) was afterwards captured at Pooleville, thrown into prison, and when it was discovered who his master was, he was sent back to Sharpsburg.”
      • Patterson arrived in Harpers Ferry in July, left shortly thereafter.
      • Geary was arrested according to the Fugitive Slave Law which was still being enforced in some places.
    • William H.H Geary (From an interview in the Marlboro Enterprise, June 5, 1901)
      • “ Five minutes was his length of time (at Sharpsburg) and he ran away again...”
      • “ He went straight to Harrisburg, Pa. As luck would have it, he met Fanny Geary afterward Stanley, a cousin and two other young people who were related to him. The people he met so unexpectedly had been with the 13 th Mass Regiment with which a number of Marlboro soldiers were affiliated.”
      • “ Mr. Geary with his new found companions lost no time in coming north and in July 1862, they reached the friendly hillsides of Marlboro. Mr. Geary first worked for Lambert Bigelow with whom he remained a year. He then went to Worcester where he learned the barber trade from the well known Professor Walker.” (Lambert Bigelow died in 1863)
    • William H.H Geary (From an interview in the Marlboro Enterprise, June 5, 1901)
      • The article goes on to say that William Geary left Marlboro after barbering there for a short period in 1865, and returned after about 13 years, establishing a shop at 420 Lincoln St. next to Forest Hall, (located where the Marlboro Wire Goods, now condominiums are located) where he worked for many years.
      • His family record is incomplete, but one of his sons married Ella Stanley and they had twelve children. Another son became the first Black lawyer in Maine.
    • Luke Goins
      • According to his obituary, Luke Goins was born in 1833 in Shepardstown, VA.
      • He was a slave of Mr. Carroll who owned the Wager Hotel and who hired him out to a hotel in Baltimore.
      • Mr. Carroll died of cholera in 1850, which would mean that Luke Goins was not present during the John Brown raid.
      • From Baltimore, he escaped first to Philadelphia and then became a sailor, serving in that capacity during the Civil War.
    • Luke Goins
      • After the war, he returned to Harpers Ferry and met with Mr. Carroll's widow.
      • He married Annie Brown in Martinsburg, WV.
      • In 1870 there was a great flood that affected the area. Mrs. Carroll was killed and this event probably caused Luke Goins to move to Marlboro with the assistance of Fannie Geary Stanley.
      • Luke and Annie Goins had 13 children two who died in infancy.
    • Luke Goins
      • According to his granddaughter Anna Walker, Luke Goins “had a neighborhood parade each night in the summer, which he led playing the flute. The children all had flutes and drums and marched through 'Little Canada' and up 'French Hill' and all the neighborhood children joined in the march.
      • “ He was familiar with the ring of the John Brown Bell and was instrumental in identifying it when it was brought here by the Civil War veterans.”
    • Luke Goins
      • At the reception of Mrs. Snyder in 1893, Hattie Goins, daughter of Luke and Annie Goins, sang a solo.
      • Luke Goins died on September 26, 1896, the 35 th anniversary of the taking of the Bell from Harpers Ferry.
      • The Marlboro Senior Center hall is named after Anna Walker, granddaughter of Luke and Annie Goins and long time dance instructor in Marlboro, for her contributions to civic life.
    •  
    • While Marlboro had little to do with the Subject of John Brown or his raid on Harpers Ferry, it had everthing to do with the Object of the raid, which was to bring the slaves of Harpers Ferry to the safety of the North. In Marlboro, they found housing, employment, education and a place in the community.
    • Timeline of the Bell In Marlboro
    • The Visit to Mrs. Snyder
      • James Gleason plays a pivotal role in the recovery of the Bell. His relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Ensminger during his time at Williamsport allowed for him to boldly seek them out when they returned in 1892.
      • The occasion for the visit was the 26 th GAR Encampment held in Washington, DC in September of 1892. Perhaps it was all the war stories told at that time that led them to take a side trip to see their old friends, the Ensmingers.
      • The entourage included six men and their sons, an uncertain number. This is known from an interview in 1944 with Dick Parker, son of Lysander Parker who was there. The group arrived late in the evening at Williamsport and were refused lodging by a southern sympathizer. They decided to go to the home of the Ensmingers, finding that Mr. Ensminger had died, but that his widow had remarried and again widowed and was now Mrs. Snyder. She met them, recognized them, welcomed them, and put them all up for the night.
      • On discovering that she still had the Bell, a settlement sum of $150 was agreed on to cover her costs for having shipped their clothing back to Marlboro (it was all lost). This sum was covered by ‘people from Marlboro’.
      • In a July 8 1893 interview with the Marlboro Enterprise on the occasion of her visit to Marlboro it was revealed that the Ensmingers were both Democrats and slaveowners. During the nearby battle of Antietam, her husband had filed off ‘the last figure of the date cast upon the bell’ to conceal its origin.
    • Timeline of the Bell
      • 1892 Bell traveled by rail from Williamsport, MD installed on the GAR Bldg at corner of Main St and Rawlins Ave.
      • 1893 Mrs. Snyder given a reception at the GAR in Marlboro.
      • 1901 James Gleason gives address to Sons of Veterans at GAR hall.
      • 1903 James Gleason accompanies the Bell to Charlestown, MA where it appears in a parade with the Liberty Bell.
    • Timeline of the Bell
      • 1906: James Gleason dies at the age of 63.
      • 1909: Lysander Parker gives his statement under oath to John S. Fay, Justice of the Peace
    • John S. Fay
      • John S. Fay was certainly one of the most respected men in Marlboro, in Massachusetts, perhaps the entire Northeast.
      • As a member of Co. F 13 th Regiment he had lost both his right arm and his right leg from wounds received at Fitzhugh’s Crossing. Shortly after his amputations he and his surgeon were taken prisoners of war and sent to Libby Prison.
      • At wars end he was made Postmaster in Marlboro, a position he held into the 20 th century.
      • As Postmaster, he was the highest ranking Federal official in Marlboro.
      • As a member of the 13 th , he was the ideal man to have accepted the oath of Lysander Parker concerning the Bell.
    • Timeline of the Bell
      • Bell was rung at the death of each Civil War veteran.
      • In the late 1960's, the GAR building was considered beyond repair and it was decided to tear down the building.
      • A group led by Ray Cahill of the Marlboro Chamber of Commerce, George Whapham of the American Legion and Rep. Philip Philbin and others arranged to build the present tower on Union Common in 1968.
      • 48 men were listed as volunteers who contributed to the building of the tower
    • Timeline of the Bell
      • In 1978 there was an Anniversary ceremony.
      • Among the members of the tenth anniversary committee were listed Gov. Michael Dukakis, Senator Edward Kennedy, Rep Joseph Early and Rep Joseph Navin. The Bell was clearly considered a political asset.
      • The Bell ringers in 1978 were:
      • Mrs. Norma Brown Yuryan,
      • granddaughter of 1 st Lt. David L Brown
      • Mrs. Anna Walker
      • granddaughter of Luke Goins
      • Mrs. Ralph Ricciutti
      • wife of the designer of the Tower
    • The Ringing of the John Brown Bell in Marlboro on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of John Brown’s Raid October 16, 2009
    • The Funeral of Fannie Geary Stanley Baptist Church, Monument Sq. 1914 There is an image in my mind that best summarizes the topics of this evening. It is a canvas that depicts the funeral of Fannie Geary Stanley at the Baptist Church at Monument Sq. in 1914. The image is drawn from about the position of the entrance to Granger Blvd with a wide angle so as to include both the Baptist Church to the left and the corner of Rawlins Ave. to the right. On that corner stands the old GAR building, since demolished, and below it, on the street stand two men, rope in hand, pulling to ring the bell above. They are wearing firemen’s hats of the day. Just below the bell a plaque that reads “The John Brown Bell”. The Bell sits about the same relative distance from the Baptist Church as it did from the Wager Hotel in Harpers Ferry. In the center of the image stands the Civil War monument, and on it the names of some of the men who Fannie Geary might have met and spoken to in Williamsport, MD, before they went south to the battles in which they died, and Fannie went north to her freedom in Marlboro. She surely would have known that all the men inscribed on that monument had died to purchase that freedom.
    • To the left of the image stand two people in front of the Baptist Church. One is an old soldier, dressed in his best uniform, by the name of Lysander Parker. The other is a beautiful young black woman in a flowing dress. Her name is Fannie Geary Stanley. The soldier is holding her hand gently and tipping his ornamental hat as if to say, “Glad you could come, ma’am, I hope you enjoyed your stay. Godspeed”. The Bell that sits at the Union Common is a National Treasure with national symbolism. But in Marlboro the symbolic freedom it represents is embellished with other values of equal importance. The values of self-sacrifice, of loyalty to one’s word, and, as depicted in the scene at the Monument, of charity and hospitality to strangers met along the way. We hope you’ve enjoyed our presentation tonight. We in Marlboro are not only stewards of the Bell, but stewards of the ideals that it represents. Our hope is that we are somehow led to celebrate these ideals and values in various ways in our community life.
    • Bibliography All of the publications below are available at the Marlboro Public Library and the Marlboro Historical Society. Links to online, full-text versions of several of the publications below can be found at the Society’s website .
      • History of the Town of Marlborough
      • by Charles Hudson
      • Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough
      • by Ella Bigelow
      • Four Hundred Fifty Events in Marlborough and Neighboring Towns
      • by Cyrus Felton
      • Six Hundred Events in Marlborough and Neighboring Towns
      • by Cyrus Felton
      • History of the Second Parish Church (Unitarian), Marlborough
      • by Edward Farwell Hayward
    • Bibliography The following resources are available online
      • 13 th Mass Website Brad Forbush webmaster
      • 13thmass.org
      • John Buczek’s Marlborough History Website
      • http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~historyofmarlborough/contents.htm#CONTENTS
      • The John Brown Bell by Joan Abshire
      • http://www.historicmarlborough.org/John_Brown_Bell.html
      • Proceedings of the Worcester Disunion Convention
      • available at multiple sites
    • Bibliography The following resources were also used
      • The Business Enterprises and Commercial Development of Harpers Ferry
      • Lower Town Area, 1803-1861
      • by Charles W. Snell
      • The Marlboro Daily Enterprise
      • 1890 – 1978
      • The Marlboro Mirror
      • 1860 - 1870
      • The John Brown Bell Tower Memorial
      • Tenth Anniversary of the Rededication Program, 1978