John Brown

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John Brown as a "Martyr”
A martyr is defined as a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause. To many people back in eighteen fifty-nine, this defined a man named John Brown in many ways. John Brown was a devoted abolitionist who had been important in the conflict of slavery in Kansas. In October of eighteen fifty-nine, Brown led an interracial group of men who took over a federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, hoping to spark a slave revolt. To his dismay, Brown and some of his followers were captured after a gunfight with federal troops. He was later tried and found guilty for murder, treason, and conspiracy. Browns actions and execution led many people to believe he was in fact a “martyr”.

Before his execution, John Brown spoke out. In this address, he showed no signs of regret for his actions. In fact, at one point he even states, “I feel no consciousness of guilt.” That statement plainly shows he does not have any guilt. Why would he if he was a true martyr? In his mind he did not intend for murder, treason, etc. but for a cause. To him this cause meant more than anything. Brown never asks the court for forgiveness. That all comes back to the question of did he express regret. Why ask for forgiveness when there is no regret?

John Brown in a way denies having part in this raid. He says “I deny everything but what I have already admitted, of a design on my part to free Slaves.” Brown tries to convince the court that he had no part in the raid and that he was just trying to free the slaves. Upon doing so the raid happened. Another way he pleads his case is by bringing in the wealthy. Brown tries to say that if everything had happened on behalf of a wealthy man, he would not have been punished.

When it came to the response of the charge that his actions violated God’s law as well as human laws, Brown responds in a different way. He says that the Bible had instructions as to which he should...
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