John Brown's Influence On The Abolition Movement

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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. Many northerners were indifferent about the issue…show more content…
“Look nearer at the ungathered relics of those who have gone to languish in prison or to die in rescuing others or rescuing themselves from chains in Slave States, or look at that new saint, than whom none purer or more brave ever was led by love of men into conflict and death, the new saint awaiting his martyrdom, and who, if he shall suffer, will make the gallows glorious like the cross” (G). This lecture inspired many to see that John Brown is indeed a martyr and fought for slaves rights. Because of this, the abolition movement increased around the country because many people were then influenced by Emersons stance on slavery. Consequently in New England, towns were replete with church bells ringing at the time of his hanging, as well as many songs and paintings commemorating him. The song “John Brown’s Body” by James E. Greenleaf, talked about how Brown was sent by God to terminate slavery. Also, the song was even used by the Republican Party as their theme song (D). Obviously, many people would come to honor John Brown. But some…show more content…
The FBI defines terrorism as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." (W). This statement proves that Brown’s actions are defined as terrorism since his raid was planned in secrecy because it was planned over months and funded mainly funded by 6 men, called the secret 6, since it was funded secretly (. However, clandestine actions might have been necessary in battling slavery. The southerner 's, Democrats, and slaveholders had supported slavery heavily. All southern states sanctioned slavery, and James Buchanan, the president, was a Democrat. Southerners stated that slavery was a civilized practice. The painting “The Negro in his Home Country” shows how if slaves were to be emancipated and go back to Africa, they would live barbarically and would become uncivilized (C). Southerners argued that slavery would keep them in a proper state and become cultured. This was one of the main defenses of slavery and was used by southern politicians like former representative from South Carolina John C. Calhoun (S). John Brown therefore saw it as fair to attack with violence since fighting slavery would be very difficult. In 1855, he stated, “It is a war to the death between good and evil. We must fight fire with fire.” (Z). This justifies
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