John Brown

Hero to the north, Terrorist to the south.

Life of John Brown

John Brown was born on May 9, 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut. He was taught to hate slavery at a young age, he was taught a strong belief in the bible, and the family trade of tanning animal skins. When he was older, he moved to Massachusetts to try to become a minister. He had 20 children. (He married twice). He owned a few tanneries which ended up unsuccessful. Then he turned his attention to those who are oppressed. He wanted to help them.

Tactics Used

He used violence and fear. He raided homes of southern families and murdered some of them, but spared the others. He was a very violent person. He killed and tortured people who supported slavery. He also used violence when he raided Harper's Ferry in order to try to start a slave uprising.

Raid on Harper's Ferry

John Brown raided the Harper's Ferry arsenal. He wanted to arm slaves so they could rise up against their masters. They raided at night. In 1859, John Brown and 21 of his followers (including some of his sons) raided the Harper's Ferry arsenal. When they broke in, word got out and some southerners stared fighting to stop them. His plan relied on the local slaves joining the raid, but during the fight, not a single slave joined his side. At dawn, the marines arrived. Brown and his small army were quickly overrun. His sons were killed, and Brown was captured. He was later hanged on December 2nd 1859.