John Brown and John Wilkes Booth Change Places? What if...

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5fish

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Let do a What If in which we change the roles played by of John Brown and John Wilkes Booth in our civil war history... and the ending of the war ...

Let's say in 1859, John Wilkes Booth leads a bunch of white pro-slavery men and attacked Harpers Ferry and took over the Federal Arsenal. Their goal was to start a white uprising to a takeover of Maryland/Delaware by arms and to reclaim them as slave states. Booth believes once he secures the arsenal white pro-slavery men will hear his call to arms and come get their weapons from him and march on Maryland/Delaware... AS we know Col. Lee with Stuart wrestle control of the arsenal from Booth and he is later tried and hung in Virginia...

Let's say sometime between Jan and March of 1865, John Brown goes down to Richmond with the intention of either kidnapping or killing President Jeff Davis and he does in time shot and killed Jeff Davis in public in the back of the head. It makes a public display of his getaway but is hunted down and killed in a barn between Richmond and Maryland...

The last piece is the war still ends in April with Lee surrendering to General Grant at Appomattox...

What would be our Historical opinions of these men today? Would John Brown still be considered a martyr today? Would Booth be considered a crazed white supremacist today?

Let us change the ending of the war and it was General Grant that surrenders to Lee in April in Virginia...

By changing to ending does Booth now become the martyr for the southern cause? Does John Brown become a crazed murderer for a lost war effort?

This What if is like a moral thought test of human values...








 
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gem

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Opinions wouldn't be much different than they are today.

Some would consider each man a freedom fighter, others would consider each man a terrorist.

As the saying goes one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Its all a matter of perspective.
 
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gem

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Yes, a matter of perspective... If you think it through it means they were just muderers and criminals nonthing more....
Not necessarily. The ruling party gets to decide who the 'criminals' are all the while being criminal themselves.

What we are really talking about is Guerrilla warefare. Many such moments in history, now lauded as great revolutions, started in just such a manner.
 

jackt62

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Interesting historical speculation. About the only comment I have is that both Brown and Booth were fanatic zealots in their own respective ways, both believing in violent means to attain their specific ends. Don't know that switching places would change much.
 

archieclement

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Interesting historical speculation. About the only comment I have is that both Brown and Booth were fanatic zealots in their own respective ways, both believing in violent means to attain their specific ends. Don't know that switching places would change much.
Agree would seem numerous threads/polls here have shown instead of one man's terrorist is anothers freedom fighter........the majority here can clearly see both were simply criminals.

One man's criminal is another's man's criminal seems more the case
 
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5fish

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Don't know that switching places would change much.
Yes... The point was by changes places it comes clear that is all about a matter of perspective, martyrs for a cause may not be martyrs if they provoke their death by violent action... Churches have had to weight what a martyr is before us in the secular world have too... Martyrdom is part of our western culture and tradition no wonder it would become part of secular life for political causes...

The close relationship between the sinful act of suicide and voluntary martyrdom was a matter of fierce controversy within the church.

The ideology of martyrdom had shifted subtly – for some, martyrs did not simply die for God, now they killed and terrorized in his name.


Martyrdom became a shared tradition of the Abrahamic religions – in Hebrew, Kiddush Ha-Shem (sanctification of the divine name); in Arabic, shahada (witness).

http://theconversation.com/the-violent-birth-of-martyrdom-how-the-ancient-concept-informs-modern-religious-violence-80989

Does John Brown's original act worthy of martyrism in a secular sense... He provoked an act of violence to cause his death...
 

leftyhunter

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Yes, a matter of perspective... If you think it through it means they were just muderers and criminals nonthing more....
Agree would seem numerous threads/polls here have shown instead of one man's terrorist is anothers freedom fighter........the majority here can clearly see both were simply criminals.

One man's criminal is another's man's criminal seems more the case
Not even remotely true at all. Former terrorists have become leaders of nations, Nobel Peace prize winners, leaders of respected political parties, have dined with Queen Elizabeth and received in at least one case a US Presidential Pardon.
Leftyhunter
 
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archieclement

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Not even remotely true at all. Former terrorists have become leaders of nations, Nobel Peace prize winners, leaders of respected political parties, have dined with Queen Elizabeth and received in at least one case a US Presidential Pardon.
Leftyhunter
The OP is about the Booth and Brown conspirators, think you know they didn't dine with royalty or win peace awards.........they both swayed from a end of rope.

Not sure why you always go to examples outside the OP, as it irreverent to the subject of the actual OP. The thread isn't about terrorists through history, or other countries, or other wars at all, but two specific examples.......is it that hard to focus on the actual topic?
 
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leftyhunter

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The OP is about the Booth and Brown conspirators, think you know they didn't dine with royalty or win peace awards.........they both swayed from a end of rope.

Not sure why you always go to examples outside the OP, as it irreverent to the subject of the actual OP. The thread isn't about terrorists through history, or other countries, or other wars at all, but two specific examples.......is it that hard to focus on the actual topic?
Your statement that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter isn't true is simply without any historical basis in fact. I am more then happy to give you specific examples so that you may easily verify it for yourself.
Leftyhunter
 
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archieclement

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Ah so now the disingenuous nonsense, I never said the old canard isn't true is some examples, however again this thread isn't about other examples at all............

You know what I did say is based on the polls/threads here, it's not a majority position at all. And it wasn't at the time either as juries of their fellow countrymen sent them to the gallows.

So I will stand by one man's criminal is another man's criminal is a more applicable statement here..........and is least referring to the subjects of the OP, and not dashing through the snow to Queen Elizabeth or Nobel prizes, neither of which have a thing to do with Brown or Booth.......perhaps you wish to add bigfoot to the discussion as well?
 
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leftyhunter

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Ah so now the disingenuous nonsense, I never said the old canard isn't true is some examples, however again this thread isn't about other examples at all............

You know what I did say is based on the polls/threads here, it's not a majority position at all. And it wasn't at the time either as juries of their fellow countrymen sent them to the gallows.

So I will stand by one man's criminal is another man's criminal is a more applicable statement here..........and is least referring to the subjects of the OP, and not dashing through the snow to Queen Elizabeth or Nobel prizes, neither of which have a thing to do with Brown or Booth.......perhaps you wish to add bigfoot to the discussion as well?
If you wish to comment upon history perhaps you should study history. Both Bro and Booth were considered heroes and villains depending on the political views of various people as ate all so called terrorists. You seem to have this fantasy that everybody on earth shares one monolithic view on morality. As they say in the South " that ain't necessarily so".
Leftyhunter
 
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archieclement

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If you wish to comment upon history perhaps you should study history. Both Bro and Booth were considered heroes and villains depending on the political views of various people as ate all so called terrorists. You seem to have this fantasy that everybody on earth shares one monolithic view on morality. As they say in the South " that ain't necessarily so".
Leftyhunter
Yes you should, if you did you'd know both Booth and Brown were condemned by the majority, and both sentenced to death by their fellow country men......... you would also learn Queen Elizabeth, Nobel, and presidential pardons have absolutely nothing to with either as well. You'd least learn what actually pertains to the subjects of the OP...........instead of rambling on about subjects that have nothing to do with either......…

And again your making a straw man argument, never said a few misguided souls didn't perhaps view them as heroes then or today...…however again the majority didn't. Why both groups of conspirators were found guilty by their peers.

What your doing is the same as finding examples of a few loyal slaves...........there were some...…… however if your trying to imply they are representive of the majority......your barking up a wrong tree. Recognizing the majority view doesn't suggest some monolithic view at all to most people, its simply recognizing the one thats prevalent, it doesn't suggest their isn't others to most people, not sure why it does to you.

Again I simply said "one mans criminal is another mans criminal" would be more applicable to the majority of opinion in these two cases....... and these two cases are the only "terrorist/freedom fighter" examples we are discussing in this thread...….. Its not about Francis Marion or any others...….
 
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5fish

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Former terrorists have become leaders of nations, Nobel Peace prize winners, leaders of respected political parties,
Yes, there are men in History who went from terrorist to freedom fighter, to political leader... remember the only reason this happens is that their side came out on top in the conflict in the end...

our statement that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter isn't true is simply without any historical basis in fact
I do not know ... I agree with this " one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist " This is a small scale thought about everyone in a conflict ... Like a local shot, a soldier and then is killed later by other soldiers... to the locals he is a freedom fighter but to the soldier a terrorist... In the general idea of the OP, the local was just a murder... Here is the trouble if he belongs to an organization fighting for freedom what is he then... Booth and Brown were both working independently of any know organization...

So I will stand by one man's criminal is another man's criminal is a more applicable statement here
I agree in most cases is the person committing the act of violence is just a criminal...


Both Bro and Booth were considered heroes and villains depending on the political views of various people as hate all so called terrorists.
This is the point and I question I think at the time of their acts the majority of our nation considers both men murders and criminals... but history has been kind to Brown because he was embraced by one side looking for a martyr and in the end won the war... poor Booth he just stayed evil in the eyes of history...
 
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gem

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Yes, there are men in History who went from terrorist to freedom fighter, to political leader... remember the only reason this happens is that their side came out on top in the conflict in the end...



I do not know ... I agree with this " one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist " This is a small scale thought about everyone in a conflict ... Like a local shot, a soldier and then is killed later by other soldiers... to the locals he is a freedom fighter but to the soldier a terrorist... In the general idea of the OP, the local was just a murder... Here is the trouble if he belongs to an organization fighting for freedom what is he then... Booth and Brown were both working independently of any know organization...



I agree in most cases is the person committing the act of violence is just a criminal...




This is the point and I question I think at the time of their acts the majority of our nation considers both men murders and criminals... but history has been kind to Brown because he was embraced one looking for a martyr and in the end won the war... poor Booth he just stayed evil in the eyes of history...
A lot of people back then and even some now admire Booth
 
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5fish

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If we take the position that even thou Brown and Booth were fighting for a cause but in the end were just murders and criminals all the same. I ask if you belong to an organization claiming to be fighting for a cause and its members commit violent acts in the name of the cause are they something other than murder or criminal... No, unless their cause triumphs in the end... because the organization was nothing more than a criminal one...

The Confederate States of America was fighting for a cause and in fighting for this cause committed acts of violence that cause the deaths of 10's of thousands of Americans...

If you take this logic to its ends because the CSA lost its fight for it cause every Confederate soldier was nothing more than criminals committing murders and crimes against America... think about it...

A lot of people back then and even some now admire Booth
You know people like to romanticize crime and criminals... and lost causes...
 
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archieclement

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If we take the position that even thou Brown and Booth were fighting for a cause but in the end were just murders and criminals all the same. I ask if you belong to an organization claiming to be fighting for a cause and its members commit violent acts in the name of the cause are they something other than murder or criminal... No, unless their cause triumphs in the end... because the organization was nothing more than a criminal one...

The Confederate States of America was fighting for a cause and in fighting for this cause committed acts of violence that cause the deaths of 10's of thousands of Americans...

If you take this logic to its ends because the CSA lost its fight for it cause every Confederate soldier was nothing more than criminals committing murders and crimes against America... think about it...



You know people like to romanticize crime and criminals... and lost causes...
Perhaps if the United States hadn't gave the Confederacy belligerent status with the blockade and prisoners exchanges...….however at that point its no longer individuals committing criminal acts. But a de facto recognized state your blockading and exchanging with. Note neither Booth or Brown conspirators were paroled to wait exchange upon capture...…...

On 19 April 1861, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a maritime blockade of seven seceded southern states. By thus granting the Confederacy the status of belligerent, he elevated a domestic disturbance to a full-fledged war and recognized the Confederacy as an "apparent" international entity, or "embryonic state," or "local de facto government" possessed of all the rights of a state with respect to the conduct of war. Although the Union never recognized the belligerency of the Confederacy, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in the prize cases (1863), that the Confederacy was engaged in a civil war.

Read more: https://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/Recognition-Belligerent-recognition.html#ixzz5r2zshHDS
 
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5fish

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On 19 April 1861, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a maritime blockade of seven seceded southern states. By thus granting the Confederacy the status of belligerent, he elevated a domestic disturbance to a full-fledged war and recognized the Confederacy as an "apparent" international entity, or "embryonic state," or "local de facto government" possessed of all the rights of a state with respect to the conduct of war. Although the Union never recognized the belligerency of the Confederacy, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in the prize cases (1863), that the Confederacy was engaged in a civil war.

Read more: https://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/Recognition-Belligerent-recognition.html#ixzz5r2zshHDS
I have a whole thread about the Blockade/Belligerent where I argue what you're saying but remember the United States never recognized the CSA as anything but as criminal insurgents. They won the won makes their opinion of the CSA the correct one which leads back to the OP... and the end logic...

The people fighting for the Confederacy were criminal and many were murders killing for a criminal cause... its a matter of perspective...? ?
 
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leftyhunter

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Yes, there are men in History who went from terrorist to freedom fighter, to political leader... remember the only reason this happens is that their side came out on top in the conflict in the end...



I do not know ... I agree with this " one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist " This is a small scale thought about everyone in a conflict ... Like a local shot, a soldier and then is killed later by other soldiers... to the locals he is a freedom fighter but to the soldier a terrorist... In the general idea of the OP, the local was just a murder... Here is the trouble if he belongs to an organization fighting for freedom what is he then... Booth and Brown were both working independently of any know organization...



I agree in most cases is the person committing the act of violence is just a criminal...




This is the point and I question I think at the time of their acts the majority of our nation considers both men murders and criminals... but history has been kind to Brown because he was embraced by one side looking for a martyr and in the end won the war... poor Booth he just stayed evil in the eyes of history...
Both Brown and Booth both belonged to their own tiny organization. Many large organizations start off very tiny but grow large over time especially in the case of major religions and political movements.
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter should be a self evident truth.
Leftyhunter
 
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archieclement

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I disagree, it's telling how the United States treated them as prisoners and not criminals during the war, and also didn't treat them as criminals postwar IMO. To be a criminal realisticly requires some prosecution.

Both groups of conspirators in Booth and Brown, there is no doubt as to they were pursued, prosecuted, and executed....no doubt as to their criminal status, it's a matter of record..
 
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