TS 288-307 - Was John Brown an Irrational Terrorist? John...

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Was John Brown an Irrational Terrorist? John Brown’s Private War by C. Vann Woodward - Abandoned his unprofitable business career when he was almost penniless and for the rest of his life was without remunerative employment - Depended for support upon donations - The Kansas phase of Brown’s guerrilla warfare has given rise to the “Legend of Fifty-six” - Close correlation between the struggle over freedom and slavery and local clashes over conflicting land titles on the Kansas frontier - John Brown and his men engaged freely and profitably in this business and justified their plunder as the spoils of war - Not just a frontier horse thief, in earnest about his war on slavery, fearless, courageous, devoted - Pottawatomie massacre 1856, descended by night upon a settlement of 4 proslavery families, killed them. First explained by using God, then denied responsibility - Plans for a raid on Virginia - Elected commander-in-chief in his revolutionary government - Manufactured ammunition and other supplies for slaves who he expected to rise up in insurrection - Sufficient arms to start the bloodiest slave insurrection in history - Violated every military principle - No slave joined Brown voluntarily, and those he impressed quickly departed - One explanation: he was insane, many other relatives were insane, many died insane - Among Brown’s fellow conspirators the most notable were the so-called Secret Six. Came from the cream of Northern society, men of reputability and learning - Theodore Parker had a Harvard Divinity School degree, knowledge of 20 languages, library of 16000 volumes
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This note was uploaded on 03/25/2010 for the course HIST h105 taught by Professor Heath during the Summer '09 term at Indiana Kokomo.

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TS 288-307 - Was John Brown an Irrational Terrorist? John...

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