Owen Brown Thought African Americans Deserved A Better Education | Voice
John Brown’s father, Owen Brown, was a staunch peaceful abolitionist who argued that African Americans deserved equal educational opportunities.
Owen Brown claimed that the lack of civil and spiritual rights of African Americans was denied due to their lack of education.
Owen Brown wrote a letter to the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society on April 27, 1837, in which he stated: “Resolved, that education is the basis of the elevation of civil and religious liberty, and that state anti-slavery education formed, and that county and city societies be recommended to form sub-societies of the State Anti-Slavery Society.
Owen Brown then listed the reasons he believed the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society should form an Anti-Slavery Education Society. He pointed out that African Americans were excluded from attending schools with European-American students.
Owen Brown said: “Public sentiment forbids them from attending common schools now, even when they are able to pay for their tuition. “
Owen Brown added that when abolitionists attempted to organize schools for African Americans, their efforts met with legal and social opposition.
He wrote: “Where schools have been created at the expense and selflessness of individuals, in most cases they have met with great opposition; their expenditure has increased; their patience was strained, and they were helped by only a very few.
African Americans were largely denied access to formal education in the 1830s, both North and South, which was a way of strengthening the social stratification that served to maintain African Americans legally and socially subservient to European-Americans.
Owen Brown’s proposal to work to provide formal education for African Americans was a radical and revolutionary proposal in the 1830s.
Owen Brown didn’t mince his words when he pointed out the negative effects of a lack of education on African Americans. He writes: “For lack of education, newspapers and periodicals are in a way lost; the correspondence between them is cut off, and much of the good advice and instruction is lost, as needed to regulate their conduct, to make them good members of religious and civil society, and to make them useful and happy neighbors. , decrease their crimes and raise their prospects for time and eternity.
Owen Brown was a Christian who believed that everyone was equal in the sight of God and that everyone deserved to be equal in American society, regardless of race. This made him a radical revolutionary in the 1830s.
Owen Brown instilled his Christian faith and strong abolitionist beliefs in his children, and his son, John Brown, and daughter, Florella Brown Adair, put Owen Brown’s beliefs into action, both defending the abolitionist beliefs that Owen Brown instilled in his children. Owen Brown is an unsung abolitionist hero.
Grady Atwater is Site Administrator for the John Brown Museum and State Historic Site.