beginnings•John Brown had no choice but to be opposed to slavery from his very birth, as his father was very vocal about his opinion.
beginnings•In 1837, he took an oath before God that he would end slavery in the United States or would die trying.
beginnings• Brown held a number of jobs during the first 50 years of his life, and moved himself and his family (including 20 children) around the nation trying to find financial success, but never achieving it.
beginnings• However, his lack of money did not stop him from supporting abolitionist causes, including giving land to fugitive slaves, agreeing to raise an African American boy as one of their own, and participating in the Underground Railroad.
beginnings• His efforts at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas in 1856 had made a national name for himself, but would only be his beginning.
Opening battle?• That event in Kansas would seem minor after his decision in October, 1859 to lead an army of slaves against their owners for freedom.
Opening battle?• He brought 21 men, 16 whites and 5 African Americans to Harper’s Ferry, VA and attempted to take over the federal arsenal (a place where weapons were stored) there.
Opening battle?• When he arrived in Harper’s Ferry, he and co-conspirators took 60 local citizens hostage and waited for news to spread and have slaves join them in their war.
Opening battle?•When the local militia arrived and the slaves of the region never did, Brown was in trouble.
Opening battle?• The militia kept Brown pinned down until a detachment of Marines and soldiers under the leadership of Colonel Robert E. Lee arrived and forced their way into the arsenal.
Opening battle?•Brown was seriously wounded, captured, and transported to a different city for trial, which happened almost immediately.
Opening battle?•By December, 1859, Brown and his co- conspirators had been found guilty, sentenced, and executed for their crimes.
Opening battle?• John Brown’s Raid served as proof to the South that Northern abolitionists were willing to fight and die to end slavery, and began the discussion in several Southern states as to whether or not they should remain as part of the Union.