John brown the radical abolitionist who believed in the violent overthrow of slavery. Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut and he spent most of his childhood in Ohio. Brown’s father, was a very religious man, whose Calvinism formed the pillars of this family’s household. His professional life and some business failures which made him go into bankruptcy at age 42 and making him have more than 20 lawsuits filed against him. During the bleeding Kansas Brown led attacks on pro slavery and justified his actions as the will of God, soon becoming a hero in the eyes of Northern Extremities.
Dealing with Brown meant coming to terms with violence that he unleashed. In 1837, Brown and his father attended a meeting to honor Elijah Lovejoy, she was an anti—slavery editor who was murdered by a pro-slavery mob from Missouri. In that meeting Brown was listening to the accusations that were being made of the pro-slavery mob, and as the meeting was coming to an end he stood up, raised his right hand “vowed that here, before God, in this church, in the presence of these witnesses, he would consecrate his life to the destruction of slavery.
He assisted the escape of several slaves in 1855, and then he had to move to Kansas with his five sons because he was under threat of arrest. Brown played a role in what came to be known as “Bleeding Kansas”. Brown was a man that liked to take action, and he was also a man that fought for his beliefs of antislavery. Brown’s desire to incorporate violence in 1856 to further the cause of racial equality and his desire to be the person of that change. He then declared himself “captain” of the anti-slavery forces.
The prosperity he was having with this proslavery guerilla made Brown and four of his sons’ murder five proslavery settlers that lived in Pottawottamie Creek. One of Brown’s neighbors in Oawatomie Bartow Darrach wrote after the massacre “Even though Brown’s victims had repeatedly threatened the lives and property of out free state men, he murders are condemned as unjustifiable under any circumstance”. After this event happened every crime that was happening had John Brown name written all over it. By early 1858 Brown had established a small army which its purpose was to rebel among the slaves.
When Brown returned to Kansas in 1858 he led a rescue of eleven slaves in Missouri where he took them twenty-five hundred miles to Canada. Brown was then convinced of God’s holy mission for him and he was confident that to free and enslaved blacks was what he was meant to do. In the winter of 1858 Brown had a meeting with a group of blacks in the state of Philadelphia where they warned Brown that it was not the right time for the Harpers Ferry venture. In 1859, Brown and his followers attacked the federal arsenal in Harbors Ferry and their goal being to capture all of their supplies to then form a slave rebellion.
Responses to Brown and to the Harper’s Ferry event testify that North and South alike viewed Brown as both the unavoidable of dangerous social and political conditions and the symbolic bodily existence of sectional reasons for doing things, complaints, and purposes. Mainly, because he wanted to protect the Republican party from the fallout of the raid. Abraham Lincoln tried to paint Brown as an abnormal leader but to Brown his option wasn’t relevant because Lincoln was in the minority group.
In Difference of William Lloyd Garrison, who set aside his non-resistant principles, came to realize that Brown that revive the “spirit of 76” and made men understand the important changes of taking arms against people who badly mistreat other people. For Garrison, Brown’s exciting violent action signaled “progress and a positive moral growth “the campaign against slavery had reached a stage in which “sexual weapons “no longer functioned to support cruelty but, rather helped encouraged the cause of Negro freedom and destroy southern bad treatment.
Brown also caused an abolitionist oratory to have higher intensity than ever before. Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry captivity, trial, and execution led very lucid northerners to reject the rule of “law” and to strongly encourage slaves, helped by whites to rebel against and if necessary, to kill their masters. John Brown wrote a letter to Franklin Sanborn on February 24 1858, stating “I expect nothing but to ‘endure hardness’; but I expect to effect a mighty conquest, even though it be like the last victory of Samson.
This was written a month letter after Brown was captured. When Brown was captured he welcomed his death knowing how the dramatic possibilities will increase and how it will start a conflict for the North and the South. Brown wrote another letter on November 23 1859, stating that “I think I feel as happy as Paul did when he lay in prison. He knew if they killed him it would greatly advance the cause of Christ; that was the reason he rejoiced so. On that same ground “I do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. ” Let them hang me; I forgive them, and mat God forgive them.
For they know what they do. ” Some of Brown’s northern supporters tried to create a rescue plan but at the end they didn’t do anything, they thought that it was evident they were not going to succeed and they were aware that doing such a thing would trigger a bigger problem. It is said that John Brown played a major role in the start of the Civil War. Brown’s raid revealed a deep division between the North and the South. As a historical figure and symbol John Brown was complicated, debatable, and dangerous.
Blacks had seen Brown as a hero believing his only rival was Lincoln, Brown was a white man who identified himself with enslaved Negroes and he showed no prejudice and he didn’t doubt putting his life at risk to liberate them. On another hand to white settlers Brown had forcefully taken the rule of law and had tried to spark a murderous slave revolt. By the 1900s. Negroes lived in the land and lived terribly scared in the white mind, as a “degenerated” race that the whites controlled through the separation of people by race and religion and by murder.
Meanwhile to liberal whites in the North that were more concerned about race relations, John Brown was glorious, he was more of a hero. Brown was really remembered for his direct Christian dignity he had showed during his incarceration and through his trial. Brown’s example was inspirational, it forced men and women to manage the work of reform; it was also an example one could safely invoke. Mostly, everyone had agreed that Brown had sacrificed and accepted his errors and made holy his sprit before his death.
Until this day there is still controversy as to how people should view John Brown, some people see him as the person who killed slavery, and sparked the civil war. Others as a hero and a visionary and others as a violent madman and a terrorist. At the end, there is no right or wrong answer Brown did his good as the same way he did really bad thing. I believe that the tactics he used were not the correct ones making him in some circumstances the very bad person most people in our time see him today.