Suggest Edits
 John Brown

Photo added by ronald deavy

John Brown

  • Birth 9 May 1800 Torrington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 2 Dec 1859 Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia, USA
  • Burial North Elba, Essex County, New York, USA
  • Memorial ID 137

American Abolitionist, Folk Figure. He advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to end all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. President Abraham Lincoln said he was a "misguided fanatic" and Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans." His attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia, the murder of five proslavery Southerners, and inciting a slave insurrection and was subsequently hanged. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that a year later led to secession and the American Civil War. Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who still advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said "These men are all talk. What we need is action - action!" During the Kansas campaign he and his supporters killed five pro-slavery southerners in what became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre in May 1856, in response to the raid of the "free soil" city of Lawrence. In 1859 he led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (in modern-day West Virginia). During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people (including a free black) were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by local farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Brown's subsequent capture by federal forces, his trial for treason to the state of Virginia, and his execution by hanging in Charles Town, Virginia were an important part of the origins of the American Civil War, which followed sixteen months later. When Brown was hanged after his attempt to start a slave rebellion in 1859, church bells rang, minute guns were fired, large memorial meetings took place throughout the North, and famous writers such as Emerson and Thoreau joined many Northerners in praising Brown.

Bio courtesy of: Wikipedia


Family Members

Parents
Children

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was John Brown?

Current rating:

307 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 137
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Brown (9 May 1800–2 Dec 1859), Find A Grave Memorial no. 137, citing John Brown Farm Grounds, North Elba, Essex County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .