John Brown's Body (poem)

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First edition cover
(Doubleday, Doran)

John Brown's Body (1928) is an epic American poem written by Stephen Vincent Benet. Its title references the radical abolitionist John Brown, who raided Harpers Ferry in Virginia in the fall of 1859. He was captured and hanged later that year. Benet's poem covers the history of the American Civil War.[1][2] It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929.

The poem was performed on Broadway in 1953 in a staged dramatic reading starring Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey, and directed by Charles Laughton.


  1. ^ Peterson, Merrill D. (2002). John Brown: The Legend Revisited. University of Virginia Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8139-2132-7. 
  2. ^ Blight, David W. "John Brown: Triumphant Failure". The American Prospect. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 

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