Dangerfield Newby (1815 – 1859) was the oldest of John Brown's raiders and the first of his men to die at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He was born a slave in Fauquier County, Virginia. His father, a Scotsman, freed his children.
Newby's wife was the slave of Jesse Jennings, of Arlington or Warrenton, Virginia. She and her children were sold to Louisiana after the raid. Newby had been unable to purchase the freedom of his wife and seven children. Their master raised the price after Newby had saved the $1,500 that had previously been agreed on. Because all of Newby's other efforts had failed he hoped to free them by force. Harriet's poignant letters, found on his body, proved instrumental in advancing the abolitionist cause.
Newby's death-wound, a cut to his throat from ear to ear, was caused by a six-inch spike shot from a gun. Newby was six feet two inches tall. In 1899 the remains of Newby-plus remains of nine other raiders-were reburied in a common grave near the body of John Brown in North Elba New York.
Dangerfield Newby's descendants are still alive today; Tyler Newby currently lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Josh Newby lives in a suburb of San Francisco, California.
- The Kennedy Farmhouse John Brown's Provisional Army.
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