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John Copeland, African-American Harpers Ferry raider, convicted in Charlestown, Virginia

John A. Copeland, photograph, 1859
11/05/1859
African-American John A. Copeland, a participant in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry the previous month was found guilty of murder and conspiracy at his trial in Charlestown, Virginia. His defense argued that under the Dred Scott decision Copeland was not a citizen and therefore could not be convicted on the charge of treason against the state of Virginia.  The court agreed but sentenced him to death on the other three counts.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Stephen B. Oates, To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), 327

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How to Cite This Page: "John Copeland, African-American Harpers Ferry raider, convicted in Charlestown, Virginia," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/29572.