Uncovering the Truth About John Brown

865 Words4 Pages
Throughout history John Brown has been described as a terrorist, mentally ill, and a failure among other things. Because he stood strongly for what he believed in, and his goal was eventually achieved he can be seen for the most part as a hero. Brown was described as “an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans be free” (Chowder,6). Brown was a headstrong abolitionist who claimed that he was told by God to end slavery causing him to see himself as “a latter-day Moses” (Chowder, 6). With this, he stopped at nothing to fulfill these expectations. Brown’s heroism is displayed through how he was recounted by others during and after his lifetime, the actions though drastic he took when fighting for what he believed in, and…show more content…
He fought long and hard for what “he believed with certitude was a sin against God.” (Bordewich, 3). Of the many words used to describe Brown, one that would come up occasionally was hero. But “it wasn't until the 1970’s that John Brown the hero re-emerged.” (Chowder, 6). Two studies done by Stephen B. Oates and Richard Owen Boyer came to a conclusion that “Brown was stubborn, monomaniacal, egotistical, self-righteous, and sometimes deceitful; yet he was, at certain times, a great man.”(Chowder,6). Also, “among African- Americans, Brown’s heroism has never been in doubt. (Chowder, 6) Many strong black figures commended Brown’s actions in various ways. “Frederick Douglass praised him in print; W. E. B. Du Bois published a four-hundred word celebration of him in 1909; Malcolm X said he wouldn't mind being with white people if they were like John Brown; Alice Walker, in a poem, even wondered if in an earlier incarnation she herself hadn’t once been John Brown.” (Chowder, 6). Harriet Tubman “thought Brown was the greatest white man who had ever lived.” (Bordewich, 5). He even “began comparing himself to Jesus Christ. And he was not alone.” (Chowder, 5). Though he was described as “crazy” for a large part of his life, the fact that he was remembered by so many in such a positive manner, makes him a hero.
Most of Brown’s reputation was based off of the Pottawatomie Massacre. It was an event led by John Brown that is usually described as “cold
Open Document