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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

John Brown's Body On The Bowery

McGraw and Taylor Undertakers

 

— 163 Bowery —

 
John Brown's Body On The Bowery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
1. John Brown's Body On The Bowery Marker
Inscription.  This is the former site of undertakers McGraw and Taylor, where the body of John Brown was secretly prepared for burial. Executed on December 2, 1859, for the raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, the radical abolitionist had tried to ignite an armed movement to liberate slaves.

Brown’s body was transported north in a crude box with the noose still around his neck. After Philadelphia rejected his widow’s attempt to have the remains properly prepared there, the body was shipped to Manhattan, escorted by poet/abolitionist Theodore Tilton. On December 3, it arrived at 163 Bowery under cover of darkness. Quaker undertaker Jacob Hopper prepared the body, assisted by Charley Carpenter, sexton of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery.

When word leaked out, hundreds came out to view the body, including some of the city’s elite. Viewers found it attired in a good suit, resting on ice. One employee said Brown appeared “as serene as if in sleep,” and that she had never seen “a finer looking man of his age, after such a death, too.”

On Dec. 5, in a “simple but elegant coffin,” the remains traveled
John Brown's Body On The Bowery Marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
2. John Brown's Body On The Bowery Marker site
163 Bowery
home to Essex County. Before “moldering in the grave,” John Brown’s body rested here—on the Bowery.

- Louis A. DeCarlo Jr., Freedom’s Dawn: The Last Days of John Brown in Virginia
 
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 40° 43.186′ N, 73° 59.644′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery north of Broome Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 163 Bowery, New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hi-Tech (here, next to this marker); Vaudeville Hook Is Born! (a few steps from this marker); Faerman’s Cash Registers (a few steps from this marker); NYC's Oldest Operating Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Italian Theatre & Triple-Jointed Wonders (within shouting distance of this marker); Anti-Slavery Work In Federal Era Houses (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Home Of Photographer Robert Frank (about 400 feet away); Former Bowery Savings Bank (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
3. Inset
John Brown (1800-1859), daguerreotype circa 1856
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
4. Inset
Last Moments of John Brown by Thomas Hoverden, 1882-1884
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
5. Inset
John Brown's viewing
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
6. Inset
The song “John Brown’s Body” evolved into “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 114 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 29, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 1, 2021