John Brown's Body On The Bowery

John Brown's Body On The Bowery (HM2G7Q)

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N 40° 43.186', W 73° 59.644'

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McGraw and Taylor Undertakers

—163 Bowery —

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 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
HM NumberHM2G7Q
Year Placed2016
Placed ByBowery Alliance of Neighbors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, April 29th, 2019 at 8:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 584958 N 4508135
Decimal Degrees40.71976667, -73.99406667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 43.186', W 73° 59.644'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 43' 11.16" N, 73° 59' 38.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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