John Brown Facts

John Brown Facts
John Brown was a radical American abolitionist who was best known for the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 and his failed raid on the federal armory in Harper's Ferry, Virginia in 1859. Brown was active in the abolitionist and free-soil movements from a young age, but by the time he moved to Kansas in 1855 he believed that violence was justified in certain situations, especially if it meant freeing slaves. Brown was born on May 9, 1800 to Owen and Ruth Brown in Torrington, Connecticut. Brown and his seven siblings moved with their parents to Hudson, Ohio. After working for his father for awhile in his tannery business, Brown married Dianne Lusk until she died in 1832 and then he married Mary Day in 1833. Brown had twenty-one children total.
Interesting John Brown Facts:
After a series of failed business ventures in Ohio, Brown moved with his second wife and many of his children to Springfield, Massachusetts in 1846, where he became involved in the anti-slavery movement.
Although Brown experienced more business failures while he lived in the northeast, he made contact with wealthy and influential abolitionists who would fund many of his activities later in his life.
He moved his family to upstate New York in 1848 to live near a utopian community known as "Timbuctoo." Timbuctoo was a community of former slaves founded and funded by a wealthy abolitionist. John Brown moved his family near the community with the intention of helping the former slaves.
Brown moved to Kansas in 1856 with the sole intention of taking part in the "Bleeding Kansas" violence that was happening in Kansas Territory at the time.
The Pottawatomie Massacre took place on the night of May 24 and the early morning hours of May 25, 1856 in Franklin County, Kansas. Brown and his anti-slavery militia hacked, stabbed, and shot to death five pro-slavery farmers.
Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry took place from October 16-18. Brown and twenty-three men were able to take control of the armory, where they hoped to use the guns to start a mass slave revolt. They were surrounded, with ten killed, seven, captured, and five escaped. Brown was one of the men captured.
Brown was arrested, charged with treason, and given a quick trial where he was found guilty. John Brown was executed by hanging on December 2, 1859.
Brown was buried on his family farm near North Elba, New York.
There are dozens of monuments, streets, and other places named for John Brown, primarily in the northeast, but also in Kansas and other places. Outside of West Virginia and Virginia, there are no monuments to John Brown in the South.
Historians have argued the significance of John Brown. He failed at many things in his life, including the raid on Harper's Ferry, but his actions were one of the final catalysts that pushed the country into the Civil War. As church bells rang in the northeast when his execution was announced, and he was lionized by many north of the Mason-Dixon Line, it proved to many Southerners that they would never be able to preserve slavery in the Union.

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