How Should John Brown be Remembered?

How Should John Brown be Remembered?


  • Total voters
    66

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
True to an extent, one could argue that the Supreme Court's decision was an ex-post facto interpretation of law. I would maintain that once a State leaves the Federal Union, that the Federal territory it once held within that State would revert back to that State. It's the equivalent of us saying to the British, we're declaring independence, but you can still keep those dry docks for the royal navy, and those customs houses, and those forts, and those arsenals.....

All Supreme Court decisions are ex post facto interpretations. But they tell us what the law was at the time of the action.

Unilateral secession was an illegal act.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
Galileo was threatened with burning instead.

I think he was threatened with imprisonment, but if he was threatened with burning it would have been by the authorities, not by other citizens.

So what that he didn't live in a slave society?

You said Galileo didn't "try to lead a slave revolt against innocent civilians"

My Latin is poor.....

It's Italian. "And yet it moves." Galileo is supposed to have said this after the Inquisition where he was forced to deny that the Earth moved around the sun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gem

SouthernRebel772

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Location
USMC
I think he was threatened with imprisonment, but if he was threatened with burning it would have been by the authorities, not by other citizens.



You said Galileo didn't "try to lead a slave revolt against innocent civilians"



It's Italian. "And yet it moves." Galileo is supposed to have said this after the Inquisition where he was forced to deny that the Earth moved around the sun.


My recollection on the burning might be off, I had to study a lot of heretics, I might be thinking of Luther or one of the other religious heretics.

I see what you are getting at, my only point is that Galileo didn't as far as I know try to use violence as a way to spread his beliefs. It is not that I inherently think violence is bad or always unjustified, simply that John Brown was unjustified in his use of it. I'm curious, why was John Brown in Kansas in the first place? Was he a settler?
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
My recollection on the burning might be off, I had to study a lot of heretics, I might be thinking of Luther or one of the other religious heretics.

Either one of us could be off. Whether it was burning or just imprisonment, the way I see it is that it was to be enforced by the legal authorities and wasn't part of a partisan war.

I see what you are getting at, my only point is that Galileo didn't as far as I know try to use violence as a way to spread his beliefs.

Of course, Galileo wasn't in a war, and his struggle was an intellectual one instead of one where he was going up against people with guns.

It is not that I inherently think violence is bad or always unjustified, simply that John Brown was unjustified in his use of it.

In what way would he have been justified in using violence?

To protect his family from a perceived threat?
To save a family from a lifetime of slavery?


I'm curious, why was John Brown in Kansas in the first place? Was he a settler?


Some of Brown's sons had gone to Kansas to settle and work for a free state. They asked him to join them there. When he got there he found them in a shambles, so he took charge.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
lmagine a guy a few houses away who cheerfully talks about getting even with his next-door neighbor. No one believes him because he is a bit of a kook. You, however, know him well and take him seriously. What do you do to convince police (who also don't like his neighbor) that the man is a genuine threat?

Better still, consider that it's you he wants to get even with? And no one is trying to talk him out of his bent for vengeance.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to make sure his body is in his house when it burns to the ground.
 

wilber6150

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Location
deep in the Mohawk Valley of Central New York
lmagine a guy a few houses away who cheerfully talks about getting even with his next-door neighbor. No one believes him because he is a bit of a kook. You, however, know him well and take him seriously. What do you do to convince police (who also don't like his neighbor) that the man is a genuine threat?

Better still, consider that it's you he wants to get even with? And no one is trying to talk him out of his bent for vengeance.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to make sure his body is in his house when it burns to the ground.

And lets not forget that this guy had already got even with his other neighbor...
 

Samuel.Sohm

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Had the South kept its place in the 1860 government, it would have delayed, perhaps indefinably the Radical Republican interpretation of Federal and Constitutional law. Instead it was "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war", an appeal to war and subsequent loss.
McPherson in "Battle Cry of Freedom" says that had there been no slavery, there would have been no republicans and hence no war. Also, like you implied here and especially during the war, the absence of the South allowed the North to do as it pleased with little resistance in most cases.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
I recently had the exact same discussion with a group of my peers and found that most of them were equally divided on whether he was a martyr or a hero. I was the only one who said he was a crazy murderer.
 

Bryan_C

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Location
North of Fort Stevens, DC

JPWalton

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
I think of him as a terrorist, plain and simple... but my view of terrorism is very nuanced, especially in our warped post-9/11 world. I haven't forgotten that many in history who are celebrated as freedom fighters, liberators, champions of justice, etc. were also terrorists.

It's like how I view the Confederacy itself. Secession was an act of rebellion, plain and simple, and rebellion is an act of treason, also plain and simple. However, that doesn't mean that being a rebel automatically makes you a villain. From the British point of view, as well as that of a large segment of the American people at the time, our Founding Fathers were all rebels and traitors too. Acknowledging the fact doesn't mean I revere them any less.
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
John Brown was a man who was fighting to destroy slavery. In that fight he was willing to use any means available to him, and that included adopting the methods used by people who were fighting to expand slavery. The reason for that was he was totally committed to the fight. No one who actually met him and talked with him believed he was crazy. He was simply willing to do what proslavery people had done in the fight against the proslavery people.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
John Brown was a man who was fighting to destroy slavery. In that fight he was willing to use any means available to him, and that included adopting the methods used by people who were fighting to expand slavery. The reason for that was he was totally committed to the fight. No one who actually met him and talked with him believed he was crazy. He was simply willing to do what proslavery people had done in the fight against the proslavery people.
So he was either crazy or completely inept. I vote for crazy.
 

gem

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Published on Jan 28, 2010
As a major part of the national acknowledgment of the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society presents the exhibition "The Portent: John Brown's Raid in American Memory." The exhibition was on display at the VHS October 2009 through April 2010. (View the online exhibition at http://www.vahistorical.org/johnbrown...)


 
Top