John Brown's Raid

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"The most controversial of all nineteenth-century Americans," a martyr and hero, the man accountable for electrifying the nation in 1859, and most eminent as the entity who initiated the War Between the States, the glorified John Brown was an individual who stood in opposition to a seemingly unbeatable foe. Nevertheless, there was a vast majority who did not see Brown in such a favorable light during the time of his raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The attitudes regarding John Brown expressed in the documents illustrate to a significant degree the shifting relations between the North and South between 1859 and 1863, primarily through the apparent development of two extremes over time: those willing to attain freedom through aggressiveness versus advocates of slavery. However, these extremes didn't begin to arise until the mid 1860s. While the side in favor of slavery had been in existence for quite some time, its battling extreme arose as northerners came to accept and support the actions of John Brown. Between December of 1859 and March of 1860, relations between the North and the South weren't as hostile as they later became. Although both proponents and adversaries of John Brown's raid existed, the development of two varying extremes didn't evolve until later in 1860. "There are fit and unfit modes of combating a great evil" (Greeley, Doc. A). Horace Greeley expressed his resistance to slavery and his support of Brown's goal to abolish it as stated in his New York Tribune article in 1859. However, he was not a proponent of the "pernicious" ways Brown went about achieving his aspiration. On the other hand, the review in 1860 of James Redpath's The Public Life of Captain John Brown displays agreement with the way in which Brown went about attempting to achieve freedom for slaves, although he is not a proponent of Brown's objective to abolish slavery. "In representing John Brown as little more than a mere hero of the...
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