John Brown DBQ
John Brown was a white Northerner who was thought of as a martyr and hero to some, while to others was he considered insane and a criminal. His goal was to steal guns and ammunition and deliver it to the slaves in the South. He wanted them to start a rebellion against their masters. After a short two days, General Robert E. Lee had caught John Brown and stopped the raid. Along with many other abolitionists, he was tried and executed. Even though his raid on Harper’s Ferry on the federal armory in 1859 ended up a failure, he was able to cause a huge divide between the nations. The difference in opinions between the North and the South regarding John Brown polarized as the Civil War grew closer. John Brown’s supporters increased in the North exponentially, as did the South’s hatred for him and his actions. In the years between 1859 and 1863, opinions on John Brown helped widen the ever growing gap between the two sides.
In the years before Harpers Ferry, the relationship between the North and South was already strained because of controversial events such as the Dread Scott case and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. However when the raid initially occurred, the two sides didn’t immediately become hostile. Originally Brown had few supporters. Most northerners viewed him as a complete fanatic and, even though his heart was in the right place, his raid was an “unfit mode of combating a great evil”. Using violence and provoking the use of violence is unjustifiable (Doc A).
However, John Brown rapidly went from from felon to martyr between 1859 and 1863. While some of the people in the North still believed that he was a lunatic, he began to have followers of high importance. Henry Thoreau believed he was someone that truly understood transcendentalism and “recognized eternal justice and glory” (Doc B). Frederick Douglas, who was a widely popular and well known African American abolitionist, sympathized with him. Douglas said meeting him was “among the...