John Brown: Abolitionist or Psychopath
August 3, 2012
John Brown Part 1
On October 16, 1859 John Brown led a group of men to Harper’s Ferry, Virginia and raided the Federal arsenal. Brown wanted to create an army of African-Americans that would in the end help release black slaves in the Southern states. Brown and his men manage to capture the arsenal but the town people of Harper’s Ferry surrounded the buildings and trapped Brown and his men. Brown had intended to steal the government’s weapons and start a rebellion on slavery in the south. Brown’s attempt to start an abolitionist movement caused the Southerners to believe that the North was in favor of the movement and helped start the Civil War between the North and…show more content… Some could call Brown a pioneer in being a civil rights activist for social and economic justice in this time period. Other people saw Brown as a mad man out for his own cause to be a hero and a martyr for equal rights and freeing the slaves. According to David King that Brown was crazy with the statement –“on the subject of slavery he was crazy” (Davidson p. 129). King was quoted saying this after he meet Brown after the Kansas fight. King described Brown as “an instrument in the hands of God to free slaves” and that Brown thought of his self as the person pick to free people from slavery (Davidson p. 129). Historians researching for answers for the clues if Brown was really insane might use this to back up their claim that Brown was crazy. The incident at Harpers Ferry caused historians to attack affidavits that were going to be used to spare Brown from being hung on the grounds of being insane. Brown did not want to be label as a crazy or insane person and refused to plea the insanity theory even if this meant that he would hang for murder. All of the people claiming that Brown was insane did not have any medical knowledge of what it was to see a person who was really insane. There were no doctors signing papers to prove that Brown was insane because of his actions in the raid.
John Brown Part 1
People in the twenty century would be more able to judge a