John Brown The Sword and the Word Essay examples

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John Brown The Sword and the Word

“I act from a principle,” and “I say, break the law” are not only the names of two out of the five parts in this book, but the words by which John Brown lived so passionately everyday. At earlier times in his life he lived by his sword as well. The Sword and the Word illustrates John Brown’s own ideas and intentions and how he lived by them. A main issue of this book is that truly a man of his word who believed that morals should outweigh the law of the land, John Brown lived and died for the abolition of slavery and did as much if not more for that cause than many other slaves or free men.

You could say this book is a biography but it really focuses on certain aspects and parts of John Brown’s
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He believed slavery was a war in which a powerful side was holding captive and punishing a much weaker minority. At one point earlier in his life he wanted to buy a slave to give him or her an education, believing that was the problem and reason for their slavery. He thought that educating the slaves would help stop slavery because their ignorance was being used against them as a weapon in the war and education would give the slaves their freedom.

Another theme covered by Stavis is how the earlier years in John Brown’s life included more wealth and feelings of peace. At first he though slavery could be ended in a peaceful mature manner but later on realized this wouldn’t be possible. Being a man of solid ethics brought John Brown to the conclusion that killing would be necessary to achieve this goal. He “advocated killing in order to achieve and ethical purpose,” (page 36) and knowingly and willingly broke the Fugitive Slave Law and urged others to do so. Others accepted this under the belief that “a man has the perfect right to interfere by force with the slaveholder in order to rescue the slave.”

However, it was only after a harsh revelation and conclusion did John Brown realize that violence would have to be used to abolish slavery. He had so much faith in God that he knew that he had only a short time to live and one death to die – and he said that he would die fighting for that cause. He opened the…

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