Sixty of the towns prominent citizens were held

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Sixty of the town’s prominent citizens were held hostage by Brown who hoped that their slaves would then join the insurrection. No slaves came forward. Instead, local troops killed eight of Brown’s men. Then a detachment of U.S. Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee, raced to Harpers Ferry, stormed the engine house where Brown and his men had barricaded themselves, killed two more of the raiders, and cap- tured Brown. Brown was then turned over to Virginia to be tried for treason. Historians have long debated Brown’s actions. There is no doubt that he hated slavery with all his heart. However, why did he fail to tell slaves in the area about his plans beforehand? Why didn’t he provide his men with enough food to last for even one day? In any case, Brown certainly hoped that his actions would arouse Northern fury and start a war for abolition. JOHN BROWN’S HANGING On December 2, 1859, Brown was hanged for high treason in the presence of federal troops and a crowd of curious observers. Public reaction was immediate and intense. Although Lincoln and Douglas condemned Brown as a murderer, many other Northerners expressed admiration for him and for his cause. Bells tolled at the news of his execution, guns fired salutes, and huge crowds gathered to hear fiery speakers denounce the South. Some Northerners began to call Brown a martyr for the sacred cause of freedom. C MAIN IDEA MAIN IDEA C Comparing Explain the similarities and differences between Lincoln’s position on slavery and that of Douglas. N O W N O W T H E N T H E N POLITICAL DEBATES In the mid-19th century, people flocked to public grandstands, where the politcal candidates debated the issues of the day. When Lincoln debated Douglas, thousands of people came to lis- ten. Each debate lasted for three hours, and listeners stood the entire time, interrupting the speak- ers with cheers and an occasional heckle. When the debate ended, spectators adjourned to tables of barbecued meat and ice cream. Torchlit parades ended the day. The first televised presidential debate, in 1960, featured candi- dates Kennedy and Nixon. Since then, presidential candidates, including Bush and Gore (above), have made televised debating a cornerstone of presidential cam- paigning.
D 328 C HAPTER 10 The response was equally extreme in the South, where outraged mobs assault- ed whites who were suspected of holding antislavery views. Harpers Ferry terrified Southern slaveholders, who were convinced the North was plotting slave upris- ings everywhere. Even longtime supporters of the Union called for secession. As one former Unionist explained, “I am willing to take the chances of . . . disunion, sooner than submit any longer to Northern insolence and Northern outrage.” Lincoln Is Elected President Despite the tide of hostility that now flowed between North and South, the Republican Party eagerly awaited its presidential convention in May 1860. When the convention began, almost everyone believed that the party’s candidate would

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