Is John Brown Insane Essay

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John Brown is the man who famously lead the Harpers Ferry raid and was captured and hung for his failed attempt. He was attempting to free the slaves in a town where they did not want to be freed. His failed attempt lead to the deaths of many of his own men and innocent townspeople. Why would anyone attempt such a task? Is John Brown Insane? Historians have argued both sides for years. John Garraty, in a popular college survey text, described John Brown as “deranged.” Yet many argue that Brown was sane like Stephen Oates, a Brown biographer. To decide whether Brown is truly insane or not one must look at his life and motives to decide.
At the age of five Brown left his home in Connecticut to move to Ohio with his father and mother. After arriving …show more content…

His friends and family thought so. In fact, many of his friends and family testified saying he was insane. It was also noted in the proceedings of the trial that Brown’s maternal grandmother, numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins, Brown’s sister, Brown’s brother, his first wife, and two of his sons were mentally insane. It is likely however that the friends and family who claimed Brown to be insane would rather see him in an asylum rather then hung for his crimes. Psychologist Kenneth Carroll looked in depth into the physiological state of Brown. After much research Carroll concluded that Brown exhibits symptoms that make it safe to assume him bipolar but not mentally insane. For example Brown exhibits inflated self esteem, increase in goal-directed activities, and periods of mood disturbance to name a few of the symptoms of a bipolar person that Brown possessed. Brown exhibited inflated self ego in his many failed business attempts accepting help from no one. This inflated self ego is also to blame for his belief that he was on a quest from God that could only be fulfilled by him. His increase in goal directed activities can be found in his obsession of ending slavery and willingness to murder if it meant reaching his goal. Lastly, periods of mood disturbance occurred throughout his life like when he lost his marble. Brown admitted to taking years to recover from the loss of a single marble. The court like Carroll found that Brown was not insane. Brown was sentenced to death and hung on December 2, 1859 in Charles Town,

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