The years directly before the civil war were marked by escalating tensions and sharply declining relations between the North and South as differences between the two territories were made clear.
John Brown, a white Northerner, was thought of as a martyr and hero to some, while to others was regarded as insane and a criminal. His raid on Harper's Ferry on the federal armory in 1859 ended up a failure. He was striving to steal guns and ammunition and deliver it to the slaves in the South, so that they could have started a rebellion against their masters. After a short two days and an unsuccessful attempt, General Robert E. Lee had caught John Brown and put down the raid. Along with many other abolitionists, he was tried and executed.
John Brown was an abolitionist from the North. He loathed slavery, and sought after the end of it. The only difference between him and most other abolitionists is that he was one of the first to advocate murder and insurrection as means of abolishing slavery. He was first recognized during the Bleeding Kansas crisis in 1856. Violent groups form both the North and South had been fighting on the border, over the establishment of Kansas as a free or slave state. Tensions had already been at a boiling point between the regions. Acceptance of new territories into the Union was the big issue. Both groups did not want to break the balance of Free states to slave states. John Brown's next step would be his last. After his luckless raid on Harpers Ferry, he was executed. A song was later written in honor of his heroism (document G). Later the song John Brown's Body became a Union marching song during the Civil War. John Brown was recognized as a white man who died for the cause of black freedom.
Many Northerners believed John Brown's acts to be heroic. He was regarded as a martyr throughout the states. However, there were many that disagreed with his actions, but still did not label him as a criminal. Horace Greeley, a well known...
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