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John Brown
John Brown summary: john Brown was a radical abolitionist whose fervent hate of enslavement led him to seize the United claims arsenal at Harpers Ferry in October 1859. The is widely believed his intention to be to arm slaves for a rebellion, despite he refuse that. Hanged because that treason against the republic of Virginia, Brown quickly came to be a martyr among those seeking to end slavery in America.

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John Brown’s Youth

John Brown was born may 9, 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut, yet spent lot of his youth in Ohio. His parents instilled in the a solid belief in the Bible and a strong hatred that slavery, and also his father teach him the household trade that tanning animal skins. He to be foreman in the family’s tannery before moving to Massachusetts, in really hopes of ending up being a minister. After the married Dianthe Lusk, they relocated to Pennsylvania, wherein he developed a tannery of his own. The couple wed in 1820; prior to Dianthe’s fatality in 1831, she boring him 7 children. Less than a year after she passing, he married a 16-year-old named Mary anne Day. The union developed 13 much more offspring.

Brown was not a particularly great businessman, and what skills he had decreased as his thinking became an ext metaphysical. He bought and also sold several tanneries, involved in land speculation, raised sheep, and also established a brokerage because that wool producers, however his financial instance deteriorated. His think turned an ext and more to world he considered oppressed; had actually he resided in a later era, he could have come to be a socialist.

Abolitionist john Brown In The secret Railroad

Often search the company of blacks, he also lived in a freedman’s neighborhood in north Elba, new York, for 2 years. He came to be a conductor in the underground Railroad and organized a self-protection league for freemen of color and also fugitive slaves.

By the moment he to be 50 years old, Brown was encouraged God had selected him together the champion to lead slaves into freedom, and also if that forced the usage of force, well, that was God’s will, too. After ~ the Kansas-Nebraska action of 1854 gave citizens that those two territories the best to choose for themselves whether the territories would permit or prohibit slavery, Brown, like plenty of abolitionists, relocated to Kansas, taking 5 of his sons with him. Enthusiasm members of the abolition movement were determined that when the territory was ready to go into the Union as a state, that would perform so as a complimentary state. Top top the other side, plenty of defenders of enslavement were likewise pouring right into Kansas, in order to secure it for the pro-slavery faction.

On may 21, 1856, Missouri “border ruffians” attacked the anti-slavery town of Lawrence, pillaging and burning. 2 days later, Charles Sumner, a U.S. Senator native Massachusetts, was severely beaten through a cane top top the Senate floor through Senator preston Brooks of south Carolina due to the fact that of verbal strikes the virulently anti-slavery Sumner had made on another South Carolinian.

John Brown’s cause Turns come Violence

Rumors spread out that the border ruffians plan to attack the anti-slavery settlers on Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas; Brown and his family were among the abolitionists in this sharply split area. ~ above the night of might 24, Brown, with four of his sons and also two other men, rode to the residences of 3 pro-slavery settlers close to Dutch Henry’s crossing on Pottawatomie Creek; Brown intended come “Sweep the Pottawatomie of every pro-slavery guys living on it.” castle dragged James Doyle and also two of his sons, William and also Drury, from their farmhouse. As soon as the trio tried come escape, James Doyle was shot down and also his sons hacked to fatality with brief sabers. Doyle’s wife, daughter and also 14-year-old child John were spared. In ~ the home of Allen Wilkinson, the avengers ignored the pleas that his sick wife and also two children and took Wilkinson away as a prisoner. He was shortly dispatched with one of the swords.

At the third home lock visited, Brown’s band killed William Sherman v their swords and threw his body right into a creek. Other men and a woman uncovered at Sherman’s house were not harmed. Through it all, Brown had actually decided, god-like, that would die and also who would certainly be spared, though according come his followers he walk not actively participate in the executions. Whenever he was questioned about the events of the night, he was evasive.

The events at Lawrence and also Pottawatomie brought about the region to erupt in guerrilla warfare, giving it the name “Bleeding Kansas.” Brown’s name ended up being known to the nation, a Christian warrior to numerous who protest slavery and a demented murderer to many other people.

John Brown’s Raid top top Harper’s Ferry

On the night that October 16, 1859, Brown led 21 followers—five black men and also 16 white ones, including two of Brown’s sons—on a raid come seize the U.S. Arsenal in ~ Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), wherein the Shenandoah flow joins the phibìc Branch of the Potomac. An ext than one variation exists of what his plan were because that the tools he hope to make off with. Part say the intended to develop a state of cost-free blacks in the mountains of western Virginia and also Maryland. Rather say he hope to develop an army of previous slaves and freemen to march with Dixie, forcing slave owners to cost-free their slaves. Brown himself may not have actually been entirely clear ~ above what the next step would certainly be, yet he had convinced a number of Northern abolitionists to administer financial assistance for his actions, here and also elsewhere.

Brown’s raiders captured a number of prisoners, consisting of George Washington’s great-grand-nephew, Lewis Washington. Neighborhood militia trapped Brown and his men inside the arsenal’s firehouse. During the short siege, 3 citizens the Harpers Ferry, including Mayor fontain Beckham. Were killed. The an initial person to die in man Brown’s raid, however, had actually been, ironically, a black color railroad package handler called Hayward Shepherd, who faced the raiders on the night they struck the town. ~ above October 18, a firm of U.S. Marines, under the command of army lieutenant colonel Robert E. Lee, broke into the building. Ten raiders were killed outright and seven others, consisting of a hurt Brown, to be captured.

Read an ext about man Brown’s Raid ~ above Harpers Ferry

Brown Sentenced come Death

He to be tried and convicted because that murder, conspiracy to incite a servant uprising, and treason against the commonwealth of Virginia. He to be hanged at Charles Town, the ar seat near Harpers Ferry, on December 2. Among those watching the execution, “with unlimited, undeniable contempt” for Brown, was the future assassin of chairman Abraham Lincoln, john Wilkes Booth.

Brown had actually denied any kind of plan “to wake up or incite the servants to rebellion or to make insurrection.” He never intended to commit murder or treason or to ruin property, that claimed—though earlier that year he had actually purchased numerous hundred pikes and some firearms.

“Now if the is deemed vital that I need to forfeit mine life for the furtherance that the end of justice, and mingle mine blood further with the blood of my children and also with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded through wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, i say permit it it is in done,” that said.

The “unjust enactments” had the Constitution, the Missouri deteriorate of 1820, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the can be fried Court’s judgment in the Dred Scott decision that 1857.

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John Brown’s Legacy

Initial reports of the raid on Harpers Ferry in Southern newspapers tended to check out it as an secluded incident, the work-related of a mad fanatic and his followers. But when information began to surface that Brown had debated his plans—to what level is no known—with northern abolitionists and had received moral and financial assistance, Southern attitudes turned sour. Many in the abolition activity painted Brown together a martyr, convincing many Southerners the abolitionists wished come commit genocide ~ above white slave owners. Among abolitionists, Brown served as an inspiration to strive ever harder to abolish “the peculiar institution.”

North and also South drew even farther personally from every other. Man Brown and also his Harpers Ferry raid are often referred to as the enhance that lit the fuse top top the flour keg of secession and also civil war. Also today, debate proceeds on exactly how Brown have to be remembered: together a martyr to freedom, together a well-intended but misguided individual, or as a terrorist who hoped for change and, perhaps, murder on a grand scale.