Was John Brown a ‘misguided fanatic’?

Topics: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: November 6, 2013

John Brown was a misguided fanatic. He was admired by many abolitionists for standing up for the rights. However, was seen outrageous in the eyes of many Southerners. He has went far beyond outrageous and carried out a killing spree in order to prove slavery was wrong. He had a plan, however stirred in a lot of problems along with it gained him the name a “misguided fanatic”.

“John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was a radical abolitionist from the United States, who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery for good. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. He was tried and executed for treason against the state of Virginia, murder, and conspiracy later that year. President Abraham Lincoln said he was a "misguided fanatic" and Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans." Brown's actions are often referred to as "patriotic treason," depicting both sides of the argument. John Brown's attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia, the murder of five proslavery Southerners, and inciting a slave insurrection and was subsequently hanged. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War. Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he...
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