A letter to the editor Washington Informer on John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry:
To the Editor
Askia Muhammad (John Brown's Body October 15th), on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, asks rhetorically: "If you had lived in the time of John Brown and Robert E. Lee and John Wilkes Booth, which side would you have been on?" A more relevant question is, if you had been a contemporary of John Brown, whose side would you have been on: Dangerfield Newby or Hayward Shepherd? Newby, a former slave, accompanied Brown on the raid and also planned to rescue his wife and six children who were held as slaves on a nearby farm. Shepherd, a quintessential dutiful black man who was killed trying to alert authorities to the raid, was later hailed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans as "a faithful employee and Baggage Master of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was murdered in furtherance of John Brown's nefarious scheme . . . ."