Analysis Of The Last Days Of John Brown

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John Brown was white abolitionist who believed the only way to defeat the evil slave society of the South was through violence. He invaded Harpers Ferry, Virginia on October 16, 1859 with a mere twenty one men. He failed in his attempt at slave insurrection and was captured by Colonel Robert E. Lee and eventually hung for treason.. Although he had failed, it caused an uproar in the North and South. Many Northerners disagreed with John Brown’s raid first, but as they became more united in their cause to abolish slavery in the Civil War, he was thought to be a hero and a martyr. To the Southerners, he was the epitome of evil. From 1859 to 1863, John Brown’s raid further intensified the hatred between North and the South which was already …show more content…
Tensions were already high before the John Brown raid in 1859. The Kansas Nebraska Act allowed for popular sovereignty of slavery for the states. The Dred Scott decision gave slave owners permission to retrieve runaway slaves that were in free states which angered abolitionists in the North. The John Brown raid elevated tension even more. Many Northerners condemned his Brown’s raid while others did not at first In 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote “The Last Days of John Brown” where he said John Brown was a transcendentalist. Although Brown has failed, the principle in which he acted upon was reasonable and justifiable. Horace Greeley had a different point of view in his editorial for the New York Tribune in 1859 where he wrote, “And, while we heartily bid all slave in the world would run external from his operate tomorrow and never be retaken, we should not enclose a slave state to incite them to do so…”. He believed Brown’s method was wrong even though …show more content…
In a campaign speech made by Abraham Lincoln in March 4, 1860, he accused the Democrats of bushwhacking. The Democrats are trying to gain support by using the Harpers Ferry affair as a way to make people turn against Republicans. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican who wanted to abolish slavery. Since the Democrats were associating the Harpers Ferry affair with the Republicans, more Southerners disliked Abraham and believed that Republicans wanted a bloody slave rebellion. There was a higher chance the South wanted to secede now although Abraham Lincoln denied the right of secession. Other abolitionists like James Redpath’s “The Public Life of Captain John Brown” applauded John Brown for leading the raid. The people that gave reviews for the book commended it for making Brown seem like a hero. One review said, “ ...a [biography] of Brown was...greatly needed for.. the mass of the Northern community, whose timidity had been startled by Brown’s rash attempt… with their sense of the admirable nature of the qualities he displayed…”. This book was great at persuading Northerners that what he did was right. Frederick Douglass also honored Brown in a letter to a group of abolitionists in July 4, 1860. The reviews of James Redpath’s book and Frederick Douglass’ praise of Brown illustrate Brown’s journey to martyrdom after his hanging. The Northerners were becoming more united in

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