hist - Yihong Shi assignment #2 anti-slavery The...

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Yihong Shi assignment #2 anti-slavery The Pottawatomie Creek Massacre, led by John Brown in May, has raised a widely debated question, which everyone shall ponder: why would an old, white man could put himself, together with his sons, in danger to fight for the freedom of blacks? Since Stephen Douglas pushed the Kansas-Nebraska Act through Congress for his own interest, and “Border Ruffians” poured over the line to create a fraudulent vote, the violence has never stopped. Within Kansas, Free State men had been outlawed, kidnapped, injured, or even killed by proslavery people under David Atchison’s calling “to kill every God damned abolitionist in the district.” 1 Even President Pierce has been acting in favor of southerners by approving the clearly fraudulent election in 1854. The Sacking of Lawrence and the Caning of Sumner further indicates the extreme danger which Free State men faced under the aggressive attacks of those who are proslavery. It was clear that if they did not defend themselves, nobody would. Therefore, John Brown stepped up and made himself the defender of all the abolitionists in Kansas. John Brown was aggressive and hard-minded, but he was definitely not out of his mind. All he wanted was “to show these barbarians that we, too, have rights,” 2 and he did, even if in an overly zealous manner. Brown clarified that his purpose was to “strike terror in the hearts of the proslavery people,” 3 which could be an effective way to combat the unscrupulousness of southerners. The butchering of the five men was cruel and inhuman. However, it clearly is more 1 Bleeding Kansas, 1853-1861 P2 2 Pottawatomie Massacre P2 3 Pottawatomie Massacre P1
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efficient and less expensive than plainly killing twenty men to reach the same goal. Bridgman’s
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2012 for the course HIST 220 taught by Professor Hamblin during the Winter '12 term at BYU.

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hist - Yihong Shi assignment #2 anti-slavery The...

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