York Hosts son of John Brown from Harper’s Ferry fame
This photo shows Jason Brown (left), second oldest son of abolitionist John Brown, and Rev. John H. Hector, initial Post Commander of the David E. Small Post, No. 369, G.A.R.; an African American Grand Army of the Republic post in York, Pennsylvania. They are photographed at the studio of Shadle & Busser, 20 S. George Street, York, PA. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
Gussie Jones submitted this photo to find out more about it. Shadle & Busser were in business at 20 S. George Street from 1887 to 1902. I already knew the time periods that Rev. John H. Hector was in York from my research on the David E. Small Post, No. 369, G.A.R. I had a few newspaper photos of Rev. Hector, and although all are not the best quality, they do match Rev. Hector in the submitted photo. All these clues narrowed the time for examining old York newspapers and resulted in the following find. The York Daily contained the article, “Receptions to John Brown’s Son” on the front page of the February 17, 1891 issue. The whole article follows:
“ Jason Brown, son of John Brown, of Harper’s Ferry fame, is in York. In consideration of the great services he has rendered in the freedom of the colored race it is purposed to tender him a reception Wednesday and Thursday nights of this week in the court house. Mr. Henry Small, whose father [David E. Small] was among the early advocates of freedom, will preside at these receptions. Prof. W. Howard Day, of Harrisburg, who was at one time private secretary to John Brown, will be present and address the assembly. Miss Jennie Stuart, of Harrisburg, said to be one of the finest colored singers in America, will render choice selections both nights.
“On Thursday night, the 19th inst., Rev. J. H. Hector will deliver his famous war lecture. The same evening, Mr. Jason Brown will present his book, “Life and Letters of John Brown,” to the public, a lately revised work. This is Mr. Brown’s first appearance before the general public and he will relate and correct some incidents concerning the life of his father. The stories of his own life are themselves wonderful.
“Mr. Brown will remain in York several days, when he will go to Washington, D. C., accompanied by Rev. J. H. Hector. In the Capital City arrangements are being made to entertain him. Grand Army Post No. 369 and No. 37 will attend the meeting on Wednesday night in a body and dressed in full uniform.”
Grand Army Post No. 369 (African American) and No. 37 (White) were Grand Army of the Republic posts in York, Pa., for Civil War Veterans. Rev. John H. Hector was in York at least from 1883 to 1884, per his association with the establishment of Post No. 369, G.A.R. Ministerial duties had Rev. Hector moving to Washington, D.C. about in 1885 and then in 1887 to California. California is supposedly where he formed a friendship with Jason Brown.
Rev. Hector returned to York in 1890 for a year or two, again per picking up his activity with the local G.A.R. post. He would be back in York, on and off, several times before his death in York during 1914.
The Rev. John H. Hector was a well-known minister, lecturer and evangelist; he was familiarly known as the “Black Knight.” His lectures were noted for their originality and attracted crowded houses across America, Canada and England.
Related posts include:
- Civil War veteran Rev. John H. Hector
- DC Cherry Blossoms and Civil War Graves
- Battle Flag for York African American Civil War Soldiers
- African American Civil War Veterans organize in York
- Civil War Veterans organize throughout York County
- Top 10 YorksPast Civil War Posts