[Yesterday I posted about the carte de visite of Jason Brown and Rev. J.H. Hector that I recently purchased. This is a followup to that post.]
Jason Brown and Rev. J.H. Hector
In February 1891, the courthouse in York, Pennsylvania was the site of two days of receptions for Jason Brown, son of the Abolitionist, in consideration of the great services he had rendered in the freedom of the colored race. Featured speakers included Mr. Henry Small, descendant of abolitionists and Prof. W. Howard Day, who was reported to have once been a private secretary to Jason’s father, John Brown. Musical selections were provided by Miss Jennie Stuart, of Harrisburg.
On the second night, Jason Brown spoke, sporting a full grey beard reminiscent of the one worn by his father, thirty-two years before during the Raid on Harper’s Ferry. This was the first of Jason’s many public appearances alongside the Reverend John H. Hector in their tour of the East’s Temperance Party gatherings. During his speech, Brown recounted his capture by ruffians in Kansas, the Brown Family’s fight against slavery, and his father’s infamous Raid and martyrdom. He presented his lately revised book, “Life and Letters of John Brown,” sales of which were to benefit the Brown family.
Reverend John H. Hector was a popular orator, traveling around the United States and England, recounting his Civil War experiences and speaking out strongly in favor of the Temperance Party. Born in Windsor, Canada, Rev. Hector was described as just over five feet tall with a thick and very dark skin, black hair, and black eyes. A Civil War Veteran, he enlisted in G Company of the 11th US Colored Artillery as a Private, and mustered out holding the rank of Musician (Drummer) with his Company on Oct 2, 1865.
Newspaper articles from 1891 show that Brown and Hector traveled together speaking for over 6 months. In June, while in New York, Jason reportedly shared a car on the Elevated train with none other than John S. Wise, son of former Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise, the man who signed John Brown’s death warrant. The men were seated within a few feet of each other, but did not know it. Brown visited Grant’s Tomb, stood before the historic site with uncovered head and remarked,
“General Grant finished the work that my father began. The sons and daughters and grandchildren of John Brown have no feelings of hostility against the south nor the people of the South. Let the past be buried beside the graves of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant and John Brown.”
NOTE: as all of this information was gleaned from newspaper articles of the era, I am not 100% sure of the historic accuracy, as newspapers are infamous for misquoting and misreporting facts. I do know that Jason Brown and Rev. Hector did tour together, but the statement about the book is in question. I and other Brown researchers have never heard of a book written by Jason, and the title quoted in the papers is the title of of the book edited by Sanborn in 1885. There is always “something else to research” in the pursuit of the Brown Family History.