John Brown: Religious Zealot, Abolitionist Hero, or Terrorist Traitor?

By | March 31, 2019

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Capture Of John Brown In The Engine House. John Brown Was An American Abolitionist Who Believed Armed Insurrection Was The Only Way To Overthrow The Violent System Of Slavery In The United States, USA, 1870s Engraving. Source: (

History has labeled John Brown a madman and a radical. Even before his infamous raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, Brown had a reputation for using violence to push his political and social agendas. A deeply religious man, Brown justified his actions by saying that God wanted him to work to end slavery. In hindsight, his end goal was noble, but his methods were questionable and downright criminal. 

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John Brown and the Bleeding Kansas Conflicts

In an attempt to stop the spread of slavery, the United States government established the Missouri Compromise. But in 1854, Missouri Compromise was overturned by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This left the matter in the hands of the residents. They could vote to be a slave state or a free state. In the lead-up to the election, Proslavery and Anti-slavery people both flooded into the region, ready to establish residency so they could vote for their side. Naturally, conflicts broke out between these two groups. John Brown was one of the many people who rushed to Kansas during this time with his five sons.