Analysis Of Money, Morality And Madness By John Brown

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In the article, “Money, Morality and Madness,” author Jan Bridgeport-Smith gives a brief history of the “Kansas work” – an unsuccessful slave revolt in the South led by John Brown on 1859. The author describes John Brown as “radical abolitionist” native of Ohio who, “has a passion for justice” and “equality between the races.” (Smith 50) In April of 1848, Brown went to Peterboro, New York to find Gerrit Smith, a philanthropist and “peace-loving abolitionist” whom he convinces to finance his plan. He succeeds in recruiting people to join in his mission to abolish slavery in the South. In his attempt to take over the US federal armory, Brown and his group attacked the Harpers Ferry, Virginia on October 18, 1859. His plan failed and while he was …show more content…
Two months after his return from home, Smith filed a case against the New York Democratic Vigilant Association in March of 1860. Among the group members he sued were Watts Sherman, Royal Phelps, and S.L.M. He maintained his innocence and released a statement saying that “he never could have supported such evidence.” (Smith 52) In the late spring of 1865, Smith was again criticized for contesting President Jefferson Davis’ release from a federal prison. The editor of the Chicago Tribune Horace White ridicules Smith for Brown’s trial and published an article in June of 1865 calling him “chicken hearted” and that he lost his sanity during Brown’s trial and that he “took refuge in a lunatic asylum” to avoid the accusations against him. (Smith 52) Furious for White’s mockery, Smith threatened to sue unless he releases a public apology. Instead of granting Smith’s demand, White re-published the article and emphasized that Smith is “still crazy.” (Smith 52) Smith sued the Tribune, but the case was eventually dismissed in the summer of 1867, the same time Smith fell into …show more content…
On a separate article that I read regarding Brown’s plan to establish a slave revolt, it was mentioned that all five of his sons died on the night they raided the Harbor’s Ferry. Even his mission to abolish the slavery failed, I admire how he stood up for what he believed in knowing that he stands a slim chance against the government and slave owners. He willingly risks his life and remained unfazed even upon learning of his executed. In my opinion, Brown is one of the unspoken heroes in our nation’s history because he’s a man who willingly sacrificed his life for the sake of others’ freedom. Some might say that Smith is a coward, but I can’t blame him because he was in a difficult situation where he had to decide between choosing to help John Brown and possibly getting executed, or lie about the truth and lose his integrity. Smith is a great man and his act of kind act towards African Americans is what inspired Brown to start a revolution. Smith is a kind man but he lost his integrity when he denied helping Brown. Part of me wants to sympathize with him because he probably was afraid for him and his family’s safety, that’s why he denied the allegations against him. The author made a good description of Smith – calling him “a man who lost his money, mind and morality denying his role.” (Smith

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