Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry affected American culture more than can ever be understood. Tension between the North and South was building in the 1850's. Slavery among many other things was dividing the country into two sections. Brown was executed on December 2, 1859 for his murderous out-lash on society. Was his mind so twisted and demented that he would commit cold-blooded murder? The answer is no. John Brown was a man with a goal and a purpose. When he said that abolition could not be achieved without blood he was right. It is one of histories great ironies; John Brown's struggle preceded the Civil War by only 17 months. Thousands of people were killed in the Civil War, yet John Brown…show more content… Brown wanted to do anything he had to in order to abolish slavery. Brown had a great faith in God. Success had eluded him up to this point. He had sired 20 children and had gone through two wives, but he still felt unfulfilled. In 1846, Brown was working as a wool merchant but nothing ever came of it. Before 1855, Brown had gone through a series of lawsuits and bankruptcies that halted his success. Gerrit Smith, a philanthropist friend of Brown's, was persuaded into giving a portion of the 120,000 acres of land he owned in upstate New York to Brown. This land would be open to refugee negroes. Brown lived on this land as a farmer for some time before realizing that people were just taking advantage of him.
In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law was passed. This law plainly stated that citizens were required to help slave catchers if inquired upon to do so. This law would make it immensely difficult for slaves to successfully escape slavery. Slaves would have to be even more careful not to run into the wrong person.
John Brown along with other northerners were outraged. Many abolitionists protested and claimed this law was outrageous. The question of whether it was right for the government to force abolitionist to help slave catchers was asked, Brown knew