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John Brown a Hero- -yet the South are Traitors

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by WhatWouldJacksonDo, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. Hoseman

    Hoseman Private

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    This is certainly true but the John Brown debacle got the ball rolling towards secession and the election was the final nail in the coffin.
     
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  3. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    But the ball had been rolling towards secession long before John Brown:


    "I have, senators, believed from the first that the agitation of the subject of slavery would, if not prevented by some timely and effective measure, end in disunion.
    ...

    There is a question of vital importance to the Southern section, in reference to which the views and feelings of the two sections are as opposite and hostile as they can possibly be. I refer to the relation between the two races in the Southern section, which constitutes a vital portion of her social organization. Every portion of the North entertains views and feelings more or less hostile to it. Those most opposed and hostile regard it as a sin, and consider themselves under the most sacred obligation to use every effort to destroy it.

    Indeed, to the extent that they conceive that they have power, they regard themselves as implicated in the sin, and responsible for not suppressing it by the use of all and every means. Those less opposed and hostile regard it as a crime--an offense against humanity, as they call it and, altho not so fanatical, feel themselves bound to use all efforts to effect the same object; while those who are least opposed and hostile regard it as a blot and a stain on the character of what they call the "nation," and feel themselves accordingly bound to give it no countenance or support. On the contrary, the Southern section regards the relation as one which can not be destroyed without subjecting the two races to the greatest calamity, and the section to poverty, desolation, and wretchedness; and accordingly they feel bound by every consideration of interest and safety to defend it.

    Unless something decisive is done, I again ask, What is to stop this agitation before the great and final object at which it aims--the abolition of slavery in the States--is consummated? Is it, then, not certain that if something is not done to arrest it, the South will be forced to choose between abolition and secession?"

    - John C. Calhoun, March 4, 1850

    Source: <<http://books.google.com/books?id=v19nwcfWd-oC&pg=PA195&lpg=PA195
     
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  4. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    The Liberator, Fri. Nov 4, 1859
    At a meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society the following resolution was adopted: “Resolved that it is recommended to the friends of impartial freedom…in case of the execution of Capt. John Brown, to observe that tragic event, ON THE DAY OF ITS OCCURRENCE, in such a manner as deemed most appropriate for the furtherance of the anti-slavery cause, and to consecrate themselves to the patriotic and Christian work of effecting the abolition of that most dangerous, unnatural, cruel and impious system of slavery, which is the source of all our sectional heart-burnings and conflicts, which…tends to promote servile insurrections and civil war, …which is a burning disgrace and fearful curse…, and by the speedy extinction of which alone can the land be saved from violence, blood, and utter demoralization.
    Source: http://www.eastconn.org/tah/1011PJ1_RegionalReactionsJohnBrownRaidLesson.pdf

    The Eastern Times (Maine), Nov. 1, 1859
    …that any sane men of any party deliberately counseled Brown, with a view to embarrass the South or to strengthen Northern sentiment, is too preposterous to be believed…Still, Republicanism cannot escape its share of responsibility…. That the Republican party have designed to encourage such acts we do not charge; but their speeches, their doctrines, and their actions have stimulated them we have no sort of doubt. And…we charge an equal amount of responsibility upon the hotspurs of the South…. Northern fanaticism and abolitionism are today being nourished and fattened on the untenable demands of the South…. Forbearance is needed on both sides.
    Source: http://www.eastconn.org/tah/1011PJ1_RegionalReactionsJohnBrownRaidLesson.pdf

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, speech on Jan. 6, 1860 in Salem, Mass.
    I am…surprised at the easy effrontery with which political gentlemen, in and out of Congress, take it upon themselves to say that there are not a thousand men in the North who sympathize with John Brown. It would be far safer and nearer the truth to say that all people, in proportion to their sensibility and self-respect, sympathize with him…. All women are drawn to him by their predominance of sentiment. All gentlemen, of course, are on his side…. For what is the oath of gentle blood and knighthood? What but to protect the weak and lowly from the oppressor. Who makes the abolitionist? The slave holder!
    Source: http://www.eastconn.org/tah/1011PJ1_RegionalReactionsJohnBrownRaidLesson.pdf

    Wendell Phillips “The Lesson of the Hour”, speech on Nov. 1, 1859 in Brooklyn, NY.
    Whatever calls itself a government and refuses that duty of rendering equal justice between men is no government. It is only a pirate ship. Virginia is a pirate ship, and John Brown sails the sea a Lord High Admiral of the Almighty, with his commission to sink every pirate he meets on God’s ocean of the nineteenth century. John Brown has twice as much right to hang Governor Wise as Governor Wise has to hang him. Harper’s Ferry is the Lexington of today.
    Source: http://www.eastconn.org/tah/1011PJ1_RegionalReactionsJohnBrownRaidLesson.pdf

    Henry David Thoreau, “A Plea for Captain John Brown” speech on Oct. 30, 1859 in Concord, Mass.
    It was Brown’s peculiar doctrine that a man has a perfect right to interfere by force with the slaveholder in order to rescue the slave. I agree with him. I think that for once the Sharps rifles and the revolvers were employed in a righteous cause. The tools were in the hands of one who could use them. Some eighteen hundred years ago, Christ was crucified; this morning, perchance, Captain Brown was hung. These are not the ends of a chain which is not without its links. He is not Old Brown any longer; he is an angel of light…
    Source: http://www.eastconn.org/tah/1011PJ1_RegionalReactionsJohnBrownRaidLesson.pdf

    Plainly, some of the leading intellectuals in the North had subsidized Brown to lead a slave insurrection, and when he paid the penalty for this act, he had been mourned more than any American since Washington.
    Source:
    The Impending Crisis 1848-1861, p. 382, by David M. Potter



    I stated before I do not think the population of the north as a whole, supported Brown, but I am just as certain it was more than a few, as history and some historians wish to state.

    IIRC there are monuments, statues, memorials to John Brown in the north even today...................

    ww.ohio.com/news/local/john-brown-monument-is-out-of-public-view-but-never-out-of-public-controversy-1.252765

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/14/139620282/abolitionists-monument-stands-in-heart-of-towns-pride

    http://www.osawatomieks.org/index.aspx?nid=127

    http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMAEEP_John_Brown_Memorial_Akron_Ohio

    https://foursquare.com/v/john-brown-monument/5013ebede4b064ddc7eaa11c

    I like this sight best of all.............

    The poster's hero is Brown. Regardless of the murders he committed, regardless of the treason he committed, regardless that one of Brown's murder victims was a free African American.

    http://www.blackhistoryreview.com/visit/JohnBrownKS.php








    Brown was against slavery, slavery was morally wrong. IIRC even a good deal of Southerners believed slavery was morally wrong. However it was legal at the time, and slave holders were morally wrong in holding slaves.

    Brown was morally and legally wrong in the actions (murder & treason) he took. Some wish to condemn Confederates for treason and slavery, while turning a blind eye to murder's and treason committed by John Brown.


    Respectfully,
    William

    A. P. Hill.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  5. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    I am not a fan of Calhoun, but he was right..........................


    Respectfully,
    William

    Harper's Ferry 1.JPG
     
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  6. Hoseman

    Hoseman Private

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    Obviously, but John Brown cemented the southern public opinion in the south. As I stated earlier, the riff had existed for decades. Without public support, the fire eaters could talk until they were blue in the face and it was just words. After John Brown and the election of Lincoln, suddenly the words started being backed by action and the lower south states fell like dominos. John Brown pushed the people to the edge of the cliff, the election pushed them the final few feet over the cliff.
     
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  7. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    The men you quoted above - Garrison, Emerson, Phillips and Thoreau - were the most radical of Boston abolitionists. Not only did they not speak for anybody but a fraction of Northerners, they spoke for only a fraction of abolitionists. They were the radical fringe. The Liberator, which you quoted above, had a peak circulation of less than 3,000. It relied on donations from wealthy radical abolitionists, like those mentioned, just to keep it in print. Compare that to the New York Tribune, which I quoted earlier, which had a circulation of 200,000 by 1860.

    As far as Potter's quote, it's wholly unsubstantiated, as noted before. Potter wasn't even born until fifty years later. Where did he get his information from?

    I agree with this statement, and perhaps it all comes down to how we define "a few". There were hundreds of thousands of abolitionists in the North, and although it would appear the vast majority of them deplored John Brown's methods, it would also appear that the vast majority of them considered him a hero for his cause, his sacrifice and his courage. There were also hundreds of thousands of black people in the North, and it appears that the vast majority of them considered Brown to be a hero without reservation. So you have hundreds of thousands of Northerners, perhaps more than a million, who considered John Brown to be a hero. That is certainly not "a few" in absolute terms. But in relative terms it was still a small fraction of the 20+ million people who lived in the North.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  8. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    As to where Porter got his information from, I have no clue. Where did the New York Tribune get it's information from?.............As it now appears it was wrong and was much more, much more indeed than "few in numbers."



    At the very hour Brown was hanging, in fact, town officials in Albany, New York, were firing a 100-gun salute to honor his martyrdom, and church bells were tolling in commemoration from New England to Kansas.
    In Hudson and virtually all other towns in Ohio’s Western Reserve
    , hundreds of people who hated slavery crowded into their churches to hear commemorative services and bear witness to Brown’s “sublime purpose” There were comparable services in Akron, where banks, business establishments, and public offices closed for the entire day of December 2 as a tribute to Brown’s memory.
    At Cleveland
    banners stretched over the streets proclaiming “I cannot better serve the cause I love than to die for it.” And 1,400 citizens held a memorial meeting.
    At the same moment church bells were tolling in Iowa, in Chicago and northern Illinois, and all along the Mohawk Valley; and a group of antislavery Pennsylvanians were holding a public prayer meeting in Philadelphia. Public prayer meetings were also taking place at New York City, Syracuse, and Rochester, at Fitchburg, Plymouth, New Bedford, and Manchester.

    Source: To Purge This Land with Blood, p. 354, by Stephen B. Oates


    In the weeks that followed Brown’s execution Northern writers, poets, and intellectuals enshrined him in an almost endless procession of poems, songs, letters, essays, and public addresses. William Dean Howells, Edmund Clarence Stedman of Kansas, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman all composed poems immortalizing Brown

    Source: To Purge This Land with Blood, p. 355, by Stephen B. Oates


    On the afternoon of December 2, with church bells tolling in the North, a military escort took Brown’s coffin from Charlestown up to Harpers Ferry.

    Source: To Purge This Land with Blood, p. 356, by Stephen B. Oates


    From New York, Wendell Phillips and J. Miller McKim escorted Mary and the coffin north toward the Adirondacks. At every town they passed through—Troy, Rutland, Vergennes, Westport—bells tolled and people gathered in the streets to watch the procession. In the courthouse at Elizabethtown an honor guard stood watch over the coffin until dawn.

    Source: To Purge This Land with Blood, p. 357, by Stephen B. Oates


    No BN, it was not the whole Northern population but a great deal more than just a few, as history and some historians wish to make it appear, so they can back their agenda that the South over reacted.



    Respectfully,
    William
    Southern Cross of Honor.JPG
     
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  9. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    Yes, William, I've already agreed that it was more than "a few" - that it was in fact in the hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even over a million. But again, that's a small fraction of the Northern population. Nothing you cite above indicates that it was any more than that. For example, 1400 Clevelanders holding a mass memorial was still only 3% of the 43,000 people who lived in Cleveland at the time, and Cleveland was one of the more staunchly abolitionist cities in the North and was in the same staunchly abolitionist region as Kent, Hudson, and Akron, which you also mentioned, and were all communities that John Brown lived in for several years.

    It's not about an "agenda that the South over reacted", at least not with me. My whole point has been that the South's reaction to John Brown was fairly tepid, for good reason, and that both Southern and Northern reaction to John Brown were blown out of proportion by the radical fringe on both sides at the time and by some historians since then.

    But rather than continuing to argue in circles, I'm just going to leave it at that, and wish you a good day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  10. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    BN, I didn't take it that we were arguing in circles at all my friend. At least we made some head way. Have a good day, or what is left of it my friend.


    Respectfully,
    William
    Confederate Capital At Montgomery, AL.JPG
     
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  11. Riggs

    Riggs Private

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    Isn't it the radical fringes on either side who pushed us into war?

    Why is Brown given special treatment when he; a private citizen, attacks and holds US gov property? Not to mention his previous actions?

    Trying to incite a slave revolt where innocent people could potentially be in the cross fire is about as radical as it gets.
     
  12. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Captain

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    I appreciate the above quotes. Aa always the question of Brown's morzl righteousness or lack thereof is up to each indvidual. To those who hate the old parson the question remains if you were enslaved and your wife and daughter were simply items of amusement for your master would you object to someone who seeks your liberation?
    Leftyhunter
     
  13. John Olexa

    John Olexa Corporal

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    "In Firing his gun, John Brown has merely told what time of day it is. It is high noon, thank God"
    __ William LLoyd Garrison

    Footnote:
    Geoffrey C. Ward, The Civil War: An Illustrated History (New York: Knopf, 1990), 2.
     
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  14. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    [


    As has probably already been pointed out to you. abolitionists of any stripe was a small minority in the North(despite what you might have read in their newspapers).

    While it may be true, that the incident at Harper's Ferry, was propaganda fodder of( and thus, aiding) southerners, conspiring, even before Brown's Raid,, for immediate secession, but does that prove that secession and war occurred any the sooner, that southern conspirators wanted in any case?
     
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  15. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    So you do not think that Brown's Raid help push the country to civil war?


    Respectfully,
    William
    Harper's Ferry 1.JPG
     
  16. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    I am always afraid of the post hoc propter hoc fallacy, but I was being facetious.
     
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  17. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    Well I was hoping you were being facetious........lol.............But I had to ask.



    Respectfully,
    William

    U.S. Arsenal - Charleston, S.C. Dec. 28th, 1861.JPG
     
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  18. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    You was right.
     
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  19. Copperhead-mi

    Copperhead-mi 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    And a beer


    john brown ale.jpg
     
  20. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson 1st Lieutenant

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    Lol..............I love it !! but instead of saying "I'm wild about it" it should say "I'm crazy about it"......lol



    Respectfully,
    William
    John Brown Hanging.jpg
     
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  21. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Myself, I have not been able to find any real evidence, direct, or implied, that would prove the Raid, had any real influence on the actions of secessionist conspirators, especially, their determination to use Lincoln's election as the excuse for secession then splitting the democratic party, in order to secure his election, i.e., it is doubtful that Browns actions had any real significance to the events leading directly to secession and CW, whatever its effects on the minds of any particular southerner; it did not change the minds, or intentions, of the conspirators, one way or the other.
     
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