Authors/Contributors

John R. McKivigan
Madeleine Leveille

Document Type

Article

Date

Fall 1985

Embargo Period

3-4-2011

Keywords

Syracuse University Special Collections, Gerrit Smith, abolition, John Brown, Secret Six, Frederick Douglass

Language

English

Disciplines

American Studies | History | Political History | United States History

Description/Abstract

This article tells the story of Gerrit Smith, a New York abolitionist who had been loosely linked to the raid on Haper's Ferry by John Brown. Shortly after the insurrection Smith was committed to an insane asylum by his family, and the scandal faded after John Brown's execution. Through their research in the Syracuse University Special Collections, the authors have uncovered much evidence affirming the financial link between Smith and John Brown. The authors also determined that the mental state of Smith seemed rather genuine, and he might have suffered from bipolar disorder. The fallout of the Smith scandal received much attention in the partisan newspapers of the time.

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