Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    An Oil Portrait of John Brown, Abolitionist and Raider on Harper's Ferry John Brown was born in Connecticut in 1800, the son of parents who were religiously devout, continually teaching him the evils of slavery. While training for the ministry early in life, he eventually went into the tannery business. An incident where he witnessed the mistreatment of a black slave child spurred him to fight to rid the nation of slavery for the rest of his life, one that ended after his unsuccessful raid on the Harper's Ferry Armory on October 16, 1859. While he and his band of raiders captured the armory, within two days Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart had arrived with a troop of 90 marines who stormed the armory and defeated Brown's 18-man raiding party.
    Brown, wounded in the assault, was tried, convicted and subsequently hanged in December of that year. This 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" oil portrait in the oval was completed after his death. Nicely matted with a thick linen mat, the portrait is framed in a heavy 2" walnut frame with a plaque attached reading 'John Brown 1800-1859'. It depicts Brown in the well-known pose with his long beard, black three-piece suit and collar. While the artist is unknown, the subject of the fiery Brown is captured by the face; inspired, wrinkled and serious, staring down the viewer with his passion. There is very slight crackling of the image at the bottom right, otherwise this portrait is in excellent condition.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,839

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on Jun 25, 2007 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 27 days left to consign to the 2021 May 21 - 22 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search