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John Brown Lives! shares experiences. We offer insight. We celebrate diversity and revel in unity. We use history to shape our view of the present. We change tomorrow by what we do today.

JBL! is committed to addressing what esteemed public historian James O. Horton described as “popular ignorance of slavery’s diversity, longevity, complexity and centrality” that shaped our nation and shape it still. We strive for the John Brown Farm to be recognized, supported and visited as a site of conscience, a place of teaching, reflection and dialogue that serves as a springboard for principled and effective action.

Check out this podcast featuring Martha Swan as she discusses the legacy of John Brown PreserveCast

Our work makes an impact. Here’s what others say.

“John Brown Lives! dreams big and is undaunted by our geographic remoteness. JBL! celebrates luminaries on the front lines as well as unsung heroes, historians, and activists. For residents, it is the most vital organization addressing timely issues around social justice that confront Americans at this moment in history.” ~Karen Davidson Seward / Peter Seward, Saranac Lake, NY

“So grateful for this important way to learn, appreciate and honor such a pivotal influencer in our country’s history.  Thank you.  ~Tim & Kim G., visitors to the John Brown Farm 

“Our Friends Group [John Brown Lives!] at John Brown Farm is making incredible contributions to public outreach for the site. The addition of fun and educational programming for kids, within the context of the site’s historical significance, is very much appreciated!”
~Alane BallChinian, Saratoga-Capital Region Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

“I wanted to thank you [JBL!] for another awesome experience. Listening to Janet McFetridge, Lewis Papenfuse and Dr. Barbara Ransby opened my mind and heart so much more. I hope I never stop learning or caring.” ~Mark R. after attending John Brown Day 2019

“Martha, it was wonderful to meet you, and feel much enlivened by finding people so engaged in history, and weighing in on all its dichotomies and contradictions. Who knew in a place that still feels remote in this modern age that the spark of interest in history would be glowing brightly. “
~Fred M.

“Absolutely amazing landmark, the amount of respect blows me away every time.  The blunt history is so refreshing to see and so educational.  Thank you.”  ~Katie L.

“My husband and I saw the John Brown Farm quite by accident!  Your work is more important than ever!” ~Linda F., Gary Indiana

“We’ve just started our exploration of slavery in my classroom and I find that every day I’m using materials and resources and ideas from our class.  I’m so very grateful to have been part of it!”  ~Carrie K.  5th grad teacher