Review on "The Public Life of John Brown"

             In the 1850's and 60's the North and South were becoming more hostile towards each other due to changing views and small incidents of dislike toward the others views. One of those incidents was John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia. John Brown's goal was to steal enough weapons from the national armory and gather enough men so they could march into Kansas and force them to be a colony or state for runaway slaves. The Raid occurred in October of 1859. It was a complete failure in most ways. Most of the men were killed, it didn't free any slaves, and it was over and done with in just under two days. The reason they were caught was because they let a train go through to Washington D.C. after a short hold up. The people obviously told someone and a national defense was sent to stop it.

             For the first few months following the raid the Northerners were somewhat upset at what John Brown did. They agreed with him in wanting to free the slaves but not in forcing a colony to become a state for runaway slaves. The New York Tribune mentions this in its December 3, 1859 issue, just a few months after the incident. It states, "There are fit and unfit modes of combating a great evil(slavery); we thing Brown at Harper's Ferry pursued the latter." It is basically saying that Brown did it for a good cause but in the wrong ways. Henry David Thoreau's book "The Last Day's of John Brown" makes you realize what really happened, he tried to force a state to be a refugee for runaway slaves, but failed. His operation was a failure, but it did promote antislavery beliefs and make the North think more about the slavery issue. .

             The Topeka Tribune from Kansas breaks down the opinions of Brown's raid into two groups. One group thinks of him as a great leader such as a George Washington. This is the majority of the North that thought this way. The other view is a view from the elites or educated people from the North.

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