John Brown: Freedom Fighter or Terrorist In the world today there are many definitions of terrorism, but there is not one definition for terrorism because not everyone can agree on one. I believe John Brown is a freedom fighter, but the actions he attempted like at Harper's Ferry and Pottawatomie Creek is most likely to be a terrorist act. When John Brown was young he lived in a religious family. John Brown memorized the Bible and strongly believed in God.
In 1859 an abolitionist led a raid of 20 men to a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia in order to supply slaves with weapons and provoke a slave rebellion (B). This man was named John Brown. Born to an evangelical Christian family, Brown deeply hated slavery and favored military tactics to abolish it (C). Viewed as a martyr in the North and a murderer in the South, he had a great impact on the abolition movement. People even today continue to debate on how to define him. Although many consider John Brown a terrorist since he led a premeditated attack on the South, he is a freedom fighter since he increased abolition support and he lived up to the revolutionary principles of America.
However, radicalism of any variety is still dangerous. Though he was well-meaning, John Brown’s actions were not only inexcusable, but has the potential to reflect negatively on the abolitionist cause. John Brown was, in simplest terms, a murderer. In is testament (Doc 1), he uses the abolitionist movement to justify the murders of people in slave states. However, he is quick to admit that he “feel(s) no consciousness of guilt” (Doc 1).
John Brown was a man with a strong hatred for slavery who tried to lead a rebellion against it. After this he was called a “misguided fanatic” by Abraham Lincoln. Which leaves the question, was John Brown a “misguided fanatic”? I think John Brown was a misguided fanatic, or according to dictionary.com a, mistaken person with an extreme, uncritical enthusiasm, because he was so set in his rebellion that his mind couldn’t be changed even when told his plan wouldn’t go well, and although he was told his actions would be fatal he went on to do so . In The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Douglass states that there was no changing Brown
Many people either think John Brown was a terrorist or a freedom fighter. There are many facts to show both. I believe Brown was a freedom fighter. Evidence Brown was a freedom fighter and not a terrorist. John Brown wanted to fight against slave owners.
Another reason why Brown was a failure was because instead of helping his men in battle he was busy ordering food. “As shots rang off the walls, John Brown quietly ordered breakfast from a hotel” (Source 14). Although food is very important to the health of people in general (not just Brown), his men’s lives should have been much more important to him. Him ordering food makes him seem selfish and as if he is a failure since he did not properly show care to his men in battle. There were many more reasons why people thought that Brown was crazy and all of the reasons have evidence to back them up.
Looking at what he has fought for, it’s no doubt that he fought for a noble cause which is the freedom of slavery. John Brown shouldn’t be known as hero or terrorists because of want he has done applies to both sides. John Brown shouldn’t be known as a terrorist or a national hero because of his violent attack and raids. After, September 11, 2001 John Brown has been called a terrorist which has caused controversy about Brown’s legacy and reputation. Furthermore, in the article, The 9/11 of 1859 says, “He led 21 men all but two in their 20s, and many of them radicalized by guerilla fighting in Bleeding Kansas, the abolitionists’ Afghanistan”(Horowitz).
In the United States, during the eighteen-hundreds’, a small group of people believed that slavery was immoral and did many things to abolish it. John Brown, a Caucasian male who was part of this group of people, did two things that many people in United States history didn’t have the passion to do. John Brown’s life was very interesting: His early life and transition to adulthood, his decision to fight for the cause, his actions of violence in Kansas and Harper’s Ferry, along with, the long-lasting effects of these actions led to his hanging. These events were pivotal to the beginning of the Civil War. “John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut, on May 9, 1800, five months after the death of George Washington”(Marrin,7).
I think John Brown was a hero, because he tried to find ways to free slaves. Even though he killed people or got people killed in the process, he still was trying his best to help free slaves. Supplying the slaves with weapons was a good idea, but did not turn out they way he wanted. Everyone messes up, but he still had this plan to try and help free slaves.
Did you know that some people,including President Abraham Lincoln, believed that John Brown was a “misguided fanatic?” I believe that John Brown was a “misguided fanatic” because of how he committed treason as well as murder while he was trying to put a stop to slavery. For instance,according to, “The Last Meeting Between Frederick Douglass and John Brown”, Douglass believed that John Brown’s plan of invading the Federal arsenal at Harper 's Ferry, Virginia would “ have been fatal to the work of the helping slaves escape.” Another example, as specified by “John Brown’s Speech”, John Brown never prearranged to murder and commit treason, it just went horribly wrong. Since John Brown did commit treason, I believe that John Brown would have done
Why did he wait until all other possible opportunities were passed? John Brown became a hero through the support and dependence from black individuals. He couldn’t make it alone in white society, and by using African American slaves who would take any help offered, John Brown finally became a success. He would never have been seen as a hero without using the African Americans. Although Brown died for the movement, his start was not necessarily for the purest of reasons.
The abolitionist John Brown had a very important role in the freedom of slaves and the beginning of the Civil War. One of his many famous quotes, from David S. Reynold's John Brown: Abolitionist, stated his belief: "Whoso stoppeth his ear at the cry of the poor, he shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." (page 50) Also, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was one of the main reasons slavery was abolished. The history of slavery includes the treatment and conditions of slaves, the purpose of slavery, and the outcome of slavery.
George Fitzhugh claimed that "The Negro slaves of the South are the happiest the freest people in the world." (Document H). John Brown a major person in the fight to end slavery "led a band of 18 men into Virginia to seize the federal arsenal there, distribute the captured arms to slaves in the area, and create a general slave uprising." (Document I).John Brown was executed and the aftermath of his death made tensions rise betwwen the North and South. "