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John Brown

What events inspired abolitionist John Brown to become an activist for freedom?

Mark Stocking

on 23 February 2012

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Transcript of John Brown

Events that Drove Him to Fight Abolitionist
John Brown “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land
will never be purged away but with blood.”
- John Brown’s last letter, written the day he was hanged. December 2, 1859 Old John Brown’s body lies moldering in the grave,
While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save;
But tho he lost his life while struggling for the slave,
His soul is marching on.

John Brown was a hero, undaunted, true and brave,
And Kansas knows his valor when he fought her rights to save;
Now, tho the grass grows green above his grave,
His soul is marching on.

Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory! Hallelujah!
His soul is marching on! “Here, before God,
in the presence of these witnesses,
from this time,
I consecrate my life
to the destruction of slavery!” “Though a white gentleman,
[Brown] is in sympathy a
black man, and as deeply
interested in our cause, as
though his own soul had been
pierced by the iron of slavery.”
- Frederick Douglass 1854 At age 12, J. Brown witnessed a
slave beating. He didn't understand
why someone could treat people
so differently. That image haunted
him his whole life. John Brown was born in 1800 to
Owen Brown, a Calvinist who strictly
opposed slavery and taught John that
the practice was a sin against God. The Kansas-Nebraska Act
fueled the fire and inspired
Brown to move to Kansas,
recruiting an army and
financial support
along the way.
His sons also joined him
in the fight to make
Kansas a free state. In 1837, at a funeral
for a murdered
antislave publisher,
Elijah Lovejoy,
John Brown vowed
to increase his drive
for equality. Robert E. Lee called for the surrender of
John Brown at Harpors Ferry with this note. 1854 Tragic Prelude. Artist's painting of John Brown in Kansas. December 2, 1859: John Brown is hanged for treason and murder. John Brown and his men use this fire house as their
fort during the raid. Marines stormed the fire house "fort" after
Brown refused to surrender. Brown was
captured and put on trial later that year. In 1859, John Brown went to Harpers Ferry, a
federal armory. He intended to rob the weapons
and distribute them to slaves, allowing them to fight
their way to freedom. Have a nice day.
Full transcript