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November 25, 2020 40 min

From the very founding of the United States to the Whisky Rebellion to John Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry, Americans have always had a voracious drive to fight for what they believe – even if that means treason. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." What galvanizes people to fight for their cause even if it means the hangman’s noose? Here we explore some of America’s earliest rebellions from Fries Rebellion over taxes to Aaron Burr’s insatiable quest for power to the treasonous plot to kidnap Abraham Lincoln.

 Episode Edits:

  • Colonel Robert E. Lee was commissioned by President James Buchanan to lead the forces against John Brown at Harper’s Ferry.
  •  Episode Resources:

  • Shays' Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle by Leonard L. Richards
  • The Whisky Rebellion by Thomas P. Slaughter
  • The Impending Crisis – America Before the Civil War 1848-1861 by David Potter
  • Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal
  •  My Theodosia: A Novel by Anya Seton
  • To Purge This Land with Blood: A Biography of John Brown by Stephen Oates 
  • John Brown by Frederick Douglas
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Praises John Brown
  • Frederick Douglas: Autobiographies by Frederick Douglas
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly
  • The Conspirator – 2011 film about the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Good Lord Bird – 2020 series starring Ethan Hawke as John Brown 
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