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  1. John H. Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist leader. Brown felt that violence was necessary to end American slavery, as years of speeches, sermons, petitions, and moral persuasion had failed.

    John Brown (abolitionist) - Wikipedia
  2. John Brown - Raid on Harpers Ferry & Abolitionist - HISTORY › abolitionist-movement › john-brown

    Nov 27, 2019 · John Brown was a leading figure in the abolitionist movement in the pre-Civil War United States. Unlike many anti-slavery activists, he was not a pacifist and believed in aggressive action against ...

  3. John Brown (abolitionist) - Wikipedia › wiki › John_Brown_(abolitionist)

    John H. Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist leader. A religious man more than anything else, Brown believed he was "an instrument of God": 248, raised up to strike the death blow to American slavery, a "sacred obligation".

  4. John Brown - Raid, Significance & History - Biography › activist › john-brown

    Apr 02, 2014 · John Brown was born on May 9, 1800, in Torrington, Connecticut, to Ruth Mills and Owen Brown. Owen, who was a Calvinist and worked as a tanner, ardently believed that slavery was wrong.

  5. John Brown Stats, News and Video - WR | › players › john-brown

    The Raiders and veteran WR John Brown agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $3.7 million with incentives that could push the deal to $5.5 million, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero report.

  6. John Brown Biography | American Battlefield Trust › learn › biographies

    John Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859. Before he died, Brown issued these final, seemingly prophetic words in a note he handed to his jailer: “Charlestown, Va, 2nd, December, 1859. I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty, land: will never be purged away; but with Blood.

  7. John Brown - HistoryNet › john-brown
    • Trial
    • Aftermath
    • Legacy
    • Analysis
    • Characteristics
    • Themes
    • Later life
    • Assessment
    • Religion
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    After a six-day trial, a Virginia court convicted Brown of three capital offensesmurder, treason and conspiracy to incite a slave uprising. Judge Richard Parker sentenced him to hang 30 days later. At his sentencing, Brown reaffirmed his commitment to his cause and accepted his sentence with memorable words. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, Brown told the court, I say, let it be done. While awaiting the date of what Brown insisted in widely published letters to friends in the North was to be his public murder, he pleaded eloquentlynot for himself but for the slaves. He insisted that he was worth inconceivably more to hang than for any other purpose. In thus embracing martyrdom, Brown himself became a cause among reformers and intellectuals in the North. Indeed, as Brown himself understood, the claim that he was insane threatened the very meaning of his life. Thus at his trial he emphatically rejected an insanity plea to spare him from the hangman. When an Akron newspaperman telegraphed Browns court-appointed attorneys in Richmond that insanity was prevalent in Browns maternal family, Brown declared in court that he was perfectly unconscious of insanity in himself.

    Browns raid sent shock waves through the nation and found few outright apologists. Nonresistant abolitionists praised Browns ends, but many of them deplored his means. The raid reverberated throughout the political season. The 1860 platform of the Republican Party officially denounced the lawless invasion of armed forces of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext. Listed among the causes of South Carolinas secession from the Union in December 1860 was the refusal of the states of Ohio and Iowa to surrender to justice fugitives from Browns raid, who were charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Southerners, on the other hand, were convinced that if Browns raid had succeeded, the slaves he incited to rebel would have slain their masters. Worse, Browns captured correspondence seemed to prove he had the confidential support of influential Northerners. Widespread popu­lar protests in the North on the day of his execution infuriated Southerners such as Virginia Governor Henry Wise, who admired Browns courage and forthrightness but condemned those who sent him. Despite appeals for clemency, Wise staunchly refused to commute Browns sentence. Southern partisans carried their hatred of Brown to the grave. Six years after Harpers Ferry, as John Wilkes Booth fled authorities following his assassination of Abraham Lincoln, he remembered witnessing Browns hanging. I looked at the traitor and terroriser, Booth wrote to a friend, with unlimited, undeniable contempt. If abolitionists praised Browns compassion for the poor slave, to white Southerners he was anarchy incarnate. In letters to his wife and children, Brown acknowledged that his raid had ended in a calamity or a seeming disaster. But he urged them all to have faith and to feel no shame over his impending fate. While his half brother Jeremiah helped gather affidavits supposedly attesting to Browns monomania, or-single minded fixation on eradicating slavery, Johns brother Frederick went on a lecture tour in his support. Neither Jeremiah nor anyone else in John Browns large family renounced the raid.

    Despite Browns undeniable impact on American history, Brown scholarship has progressed sporadically, and he has inspired only about two dozen scholarly biographies in the 150 years since his capture at Harpers Ferry. Questions about Browns readiness to use violence, the roots of his fanaticism and his sanity have plagued researchers. The belief that Brown suffered from mental illness distances us from him. But Du Bois, a co-founder of the NAACP, did not think slavery could have been ended without the Civil War. He concluded that the violence which John Brown led made Kansas a free state and his plan to put arms in the hands of slaves hastened the end of slavery. Du Bois book John Brown was a tribute to the man who of all Americans has perhaps come nearest to touching the real souls of black folk. African-American historians, artists and activists have long eulogized Brown as an archetype of self-sacrifice. If you are for me and my problems, Malcolm X declared in 1965, then you have to be willing to do as old John Brown did. Blacks reverence for the memory of Brown has not inspired those mainstream historians uncomfortable with Browns reliance on violence. The belief that he may have suffered from a degree of madness has echoed down through the decades in Brown biographical literature. In his popular 1959 narrative The Road to Harpers Ferry, J.C. Furnas argued that Brown was consumed by a widespread Spartacus complex.

    Du Bois understood that Browns recourse to violence in killing border ruffians in Kansas and his attempt to seize the armory at Harpers Ferry in order to arm slaves had caused bitter debate as to how far force and violence can bring peace and good will.

    He was a curious, somewhat schizoid amalgam of the legend builders martyr and his evil doppelganger. This Brown possessed courage, energy, compassion and indomitable faith in his call to free the slaves. He was also egotistical, inept, cruel, intolerant and self-righteous, always exhibit[ing] a puritanical obsession with the wrongs of others.

    But reference to Browns glittering eyea telltale mark of insanity in 19th-century popular cultureinvited Oates readers to conclude that Brown was touched with madness after all. Finding in Brown an angry, messianic mind, Oates straddled the two biographical traditions. For three decades, his portrait of Brown has perpetuated the image of mental instability.

    In 1846 Brown met the tragic death of daughter Amelialittle Kittyand the loss of other children soon after, despite his own grief, with words of encouragement and reaffirmations of faith in a compassionate God to his bereaved second wife, Mary Ann, who bore him 13 offspring. Indeed, he was resilient in the face of Gods afflictive Providences and was apparently sel­dom blue for long periods. The only time in his adult life of which we have any record when he was genuinely depressed for months or even weeks was while mourning the death of his beloved first wife, Dianthe, in 1832.

    A Calvinist who believed that earthly life was a time of testing and trial, Brown accepted reversals with courage and renewed hope. Even after the failure of speculative enterprises he entered into with his father or his neighbors, Brown was resilient. After a variety of disappointments, Brown faced starting over in collaboration with his adult sons with fortitude and optimism.

    Although he later despaired of his sons religious apostasy, Brown defended his faith in the Bible and his belief in the God of my fathers to them and also to his teenage daughter, Annie. The dissenters all remained close to their father despite their rejection of his biblical Christianity.

    Even though he preached serious-mindedness, Browns temperament was neither solitary nor morose. His habits were not rigid, and he adapted easily to conditions in the field. Brown clearly possessed a sense of humor; in fact, he once tried to win the open support of the Rev. Theodore Parker by writing to him in a comic Irish brogue!

    Browns medical history explains much that has been mistaken for mental illness in his record. Like others in his family, Brown suffered from repeated bouts with fever and aguemalariaand was often bedridden during his last years. Yet even when he had to travel prone in the bed of a wagon, his energy drained by the illness, he never despaired of his project. But what about the record of mental illness in Browns family? A number of John Browns maternal relations were at times committed to mental asylums, but we do not know what illnesses they may have suffered from. The youngest son of Browns first marriage, Frederick, began in his late teens to suffer frequent episodes of a mood disorder sufficiently severe that his father took him to a celebrated physician for treatment; Frederick was never institutionalized, but the family kept him indoors when his spells became severe.

    Even after staying awake two nights in succession during the raid, Brown was able to respond for more than an hour to questions from authorities. With Senator Mason and Governor Wise leading this questioning, he knew his raid had not altogether failed to win an audience. He also managed to fashion brief speeches for the assembled correspondents.

    Browns eldest son, John Jr., suffered a psychotic episode in Kansas. He too did not receive treatment, and for more than a year his illness resulted in symptoms like those we associate today with post-traumatic stress disorder. John Jr. later attributed the episode to the strain of losing command of his militia company after the Pottawatomie killings, in which he had no hand, and to his being arrested and held in chains for treason by the territorial authorities as a free-state legislator. John Jr. went on to fight in the Union Army during the war. We also know that late in life, Browns eldest daughter, Ruth, experienced major depression that lasted for nearly a decade.

    If friends and former associates petitioned the court for commutation of his death sentence after the raid, their affidavits (now located in the Wise Collection at the Library of Congress) show at best a range of symptoms far short of modern diagnostic standards for a major psychiatric disorder.

    No one ever suggested that Browns anger or high-decibel talk went on for long. If Brown suffered from undiagnosed mental illness in that era before the rise of psychiatry, he displayed few signs or symptoms that modern psychiatrists could identify as being linked to mental disorder.

    Harpers Ferry answered that question in the affirmative. Implicitly it presupposed a hierarchy of values that, if widely adopted, would threaten the end of the slave regime. In a sense, then, Browns contribution to history was at a minimum to make righteous violence in the name of freeing the slaves thinkable for many who might not otherwise have considered the question.

    Thus Browns lifeand his self-fashioned martyrdomwere a rebuke not only to his reluctant contemporaries but also to revisionist historians who deny that antebellum Americans felt the moral urgency of ending slavery sufficiently to kill over it. To get right with Old John Brown is to accept righteous violence as intrinsic to our heritage.

  8. The Crazy True Story Of Abolitionist John Brown › 221366 › the-crazy-true-story-of

    Jun 25, 2020 · John Brown was born on May 9, 1800, in Torrington, Connecticut, and was the son of an abolitionist tanner. The Browns were strict Calvinists and believed enslaving people was a sin against God. Owen, John Brown's father, moved the family to Ohio and helped shelter escaped enslaved people in the Underground Railroad.

    • Kate Hakala
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