John Brown was an abolitionist. An abolitionist was a person that tried to free slaves. He tried his hardest to get slaves safely to Canada so they would be free. He saved some slaves from their owners and also got some to rebel against their owners. John Brown is most well known for his assault on Harpers Ferry’s arsenal and giving the weapons to slaves so they could make their way to Canada.
John Brown’s Beginning:
John was born in Torrington, Connecticut but lived his life as a child in Ohio. He was married twice which resulted in having 20 children. Brown tried doing several jobs, but he was not successful at any of them. Even as child, John hated slavery and tried help to slaves on the loose find their way to Canada.
John Brown’s Move:
In 1855, Brown followed five of his sons to Osawtomie, Kansas. There Brown tried to stop Kansas from becoming a slave state. The people of Kansas were going to vote to see if Kansas was going to become a slave a state or not. He would walk around in the streets telling people that slavery was bad and that all people should be treated equally. He said these things so the people would vote for Kansas to be a free state. After all of John Brown’s hard work, Kansas became a free state.
In 1855, men who favored slavery attacked and killed people and burned a nearby town called Lawrence, Kansas. A couple of weeks later, Brown led an expedition to Pattawatomie Creek and brutally killed five people who favored slavery. Later, a few short, violent battles broke out between people who disliked slaves and people who favored slavery.These violent battles were known as Bloody Kansas.
John Brown’s Decision:
Brown once decided to attack the south and began to collect people to help him in 1857. Some of the people that joined him had no idea what he was planning. It seemed that Brown’s idea was to attack the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia. An arsenal is a huge complex containing many weapons. With the help of these weapons, he planed to encourage slaves in the mountains to rebel against their owners and escape to freedom. John and 18 followers captured the arsenal on Oct. 18, 1859 but failed to escape.
The Tragic End:
The next day after John Brown Raided the arsenal, the local militia surrounded John Brown and his followers and found people dead, wounded, and a few prisoners that guarded the arsenal as hostages. Northern people considered Brown insane for killing people and taking hostages. After arguing for a few days they decided that he should be convicted of charges for treason, and then he was hanged on December 5, 1859. John Brown was a wonderful man who tried almost anything to abolish slavery. John Brown’s story inspired other abolitionists to keep fighting against slavery.
Filler, Louis. "John Brown." World Book Encyclopedia, 2001.
Stephanie, Matt, Melissa, Jon, Becca, and Ryan. "John Brown." Free at Last: The Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. /J0112391/john_brown.htm Last Visited: March 4, 2001.