John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

wilber6150

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#61
If he was having trouble in the north, in new york. He lived then in a community of freed slaves.

If JB cause wasnt abolition? whos was?
Ok let me try this again since you didn't understand my inital post...Browns sons were already having run ins with pro-slavery people while Brown was living in New York and they were in the territories becasue they were free soilers not because of any cause of their father. So to blame him for them getting wounded and killed there is wrong...Now if you want to blame him for getting the surviving ones involved in Harpers Ferry then thats a fair statment. Now where ever did I say that his cause wasn't abolition?
 

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#62
That was the Nat Turner uprising in the previous post. Also, HF changed hands 8 times during the war, with at least one significant battle in 1862.
Here's my accompanying thread on the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-harpers-ferry-jacksons-greatest-victory.104193/

I posted the opinion of a professional historian, Specster - Dr. David M. Potter, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He said quite plainly that "This haste was shocking by ANY standards"...
To me, one interesting aspect of the haste was not only the Buchanan Administration's and the State of Virginia's evident desire to put this quickly to rest, but I can easily imagine that was also hoped for by Brown's supporters. It was obvious he had considerable financial backing, not only from the "Secret Six" but also other lesser supporters like Douglass, and one can readily imagine THEY were probably anxious to put this behind as well so as to avoid detection! The longer the trial and its run up lasted, the more likely they might've been compromised, an aspect that it's somewhat surprising the Virginians seem to have discounted.

For a little more about the postscript to Brown and his raid, here's a thread on the Upstate New York farm where John Brown's Body Lies a'Mouldering in the Grave:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/john-browns-farm-state-park-lake-placid-n-y.91920/#post-750660
 

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#63
Brown wasn't looking for a lot of men to accompany him or to create an army, he was mostly for drumming up financial support, and that he received thru out his travels.. People certainly thought that by backing him financially they were also taking a risk that doesn't show support?
Yes, it shows support. But by my count there were even fewer financial backers than there were physical accomplices, unless you can provide evidence of some I haven't heard about. And it's not clear to me that those few financial backers I have heard about really understood exactly what they were backing.
 

wilber6150

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#64
Yes, it shows support. But by my count there were even fewer financial backers than there were physical accomplices, unless you can provide evidence of some I haven't heard about. And it's not clear to me that those few financial backers I have heard about really understood exactly what they were backing.
You are down playing the ground support from people who gave what little money they had and not just the few rich people who gave him thousands..
They certainly understood his plans or at least what he was going to do after he rescued the eleven slaves and brought them to Canada, though some towns disagreed with his methods some like this one agreed with him..
brown.jpg

There are plenty of other examples of financial support for Brown and his "secret plans" from different cities thru out the North...
Brown didn't openly discuss his plans except for a few that he trusted and he only wanted to recruit around 25 men initially in order to avoid any chance of the plans being given away. The people certainly knew he was going to use this money in order to help free slaves, they didn't know what his plans were but they wanted to help..Some like Gerrit Smith insited that the money be used only for non-violent actions, though Im not sure if he was only saying that with a wink to Brown..
 
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brass napoleon

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#65
You are down playing the ground support from people who gave what little money they had and not just the few rich people who gave him thousands..
They certainly understood his plans or at least what he was going to do after he rescued the eleven slaves and brought them to Canada, though some towns disagreed with his methods some like this one agreed with him..
View attachment 50357
Whoa. Wait a minute. Is this in regard to John Brown's liberation of the slaves from Missouri? If so, it has absolutely nothing to do with Harpers Ferry.

There are plenty of other examples of financial support for Brown and his "secret plans" from different cities thru out the North...
Brown didn't openly discuss his plans except for a few that he trusted and he only wanted to recruit around 25 men initially in order to avoid any chance of the plans being given away. The people certainly knew he was going to use this money in order to help free slaves, they didn't know what hsi plans were but they wanted to help..Some like Gerrit Smith insited that the money be used only for non-violent actions, though Im not sure if he was only saying that with a wink toBrown..
There were certainly, absolutely, many people who were willing to donate money and much more to help slaves escape. But the topic here is specifically John Brown's plan to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Can you show evidence of "a lot of" people who knowingly backed that endeavor financially?
 

wilber6150

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#66
Whoa. Wait a minute. Is this in regard to John Brown's liberation of the slaves from Missouri? If so, it has absolutely nothing to do with Harpers Ferry.



There were certainly, absolutely, many people who were willing to donate money and much more to help slaves escape. But the topic here is specifically John Brown's plan to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Can you show evidence of "a lot of" people who knowingly backed that endeavor financially?
You seem to be changing the argument from one that only a few supported Brown in general to now only a few supported his attack on Harpers Ferry..As you brought up the Canada convention and his support in other states which certainly had nothing to do with an attack on Harpers Ferry..People were willing to give money to Brown because they knew he would use it to try to free the slaves. This support increased after Missouri, as he showed that he was actually doing things to free slaves..They didn't know the details of his plans but they supported him anyway.. Very few people knew that he changed his plans to attack Harpers Ferry, as he even kept it from his own men and closest friends until the last minute. His plan to attack HF had few backers from the people that actually heard it as most thought it was a death trap and it would turn the federal governemtn against the movement.. So did he have general support to attack the arsenal and hold the town hostage no, did he have support to do something to free the slaves even thru the use of violence to help them escape.. Certainly he did, and it wasn't by a small group of radicals...
 
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brass napoleon

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#67
...His plan to attack HF had few backers from the people that actually heard it as most thought it was a death trap and it would turn the federal governemtn against the movement.. So did he have general support to attack the arsenal and hold the town hostage no...
Thank you. I agree completely. That's been my whole point all along.
 

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#69
You seem to be changing the argument from one that only a few supported Brown in general to now only a few supported his attack on Harpers Ferry..As you brought up the Canada convention and his support in other states which certainly had nothing to do with an attack on Harpers Ferry..People were willing to give money to Brown because they knew he would use it to try to free the slaves. This support increased after Missouri, as he showed that he was actually doing things to free slaves..They didn't know the details of his plans but they supported him anyway.. Very few people knew that he changed his plans to attack Harpers Ferry, as he even kept it from his own men and closest friends until the last minute. His plan to attack HF had few backers from the people that actually heard it as most thought it was a death trap and it would turn the federal governemtn against the movement.. So did he have general support to attack the arsenal and hold the town hostage no, did he have support to do something to free the slaves even thru the use of violence to help them escape.. Certainly he did, and it wasn't by a small group of radicals...
In reply #20 of this tread I posed the question whether JB should be considered, basically a hero, villain or something in between. I could have started a new tread but it seemed related and I dont think, by the question I posed, you could divorce him from his past actions. If Chalie Mason bought a flower, and put it in a hippe's hair, do we judge him just upon that or by the sum of his actions? The tread seemed to be getting somewhat lost in obscurity. So I asked the question. And U R correct, the title of the tread was about HF and JB, yet, it rubbed me a little the wrong way, when looking at all the plaques and such related to JB, that I wasnt seeing anything about the numerous battles which had been fought here between 1861 and 1865 and the brave men, North and South, who died there. I have never been to HF so I cant say this is the author's bias. If the soldiers are not mentioned and commemorated at HF- I think that is a shame on the NPS.
 

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#70
Did they kill anyone else that they captured when they could? If he wouldn't have ran he wouldn't have been killed, does that clear anyone else of his murder no it doesn't..He was murdered by men with Brown and the victims actions do not wash any of the blood on their hands, but lets also know that Browns men weren't there just randomly killing people they run across..
I believe, at a shear minimum, Beyond Sheppard and the Mayor, they shot at civilians operating a train. How many passes can you give JB and his cohorts before you call them what they were? The operators of the trains, and I believe the passengers as well, were fired upon. If u want to talk about quick justice and a short trial, today, they would be doing life or executed for that action alone. The towns people were livid and they wanted blood (thenafter). If Lee had not shown up when he did, is it beyond the realm of possibility, or more even likihood, that the town folk would have linch the lot w/o a trial at all?
 

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#71
As for rapidity and adherance to law even well after the civil war see Gladwells "Outliers" - after a family fued with multiple murders, when the judge came to town, a annual or semi annual occurace, one of the alleged murderers father said, before the enpaneled jury: "there aint going to be no trail this term, you can all go home." The judge left the couthouse, frightened and redfaced. The accused was never tried. That was, in many instances, justice in this era.
 

wilber6150

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#72
I believe, at a shear minimum, Beyond Sheppard and the Mayor, they shot at civilians operating a train. How many passes can you give JB and his cohorts before you call them what they were? The operators of the trains, and I believe the passengers as well, were fired upon. If u want to talk about quick justice and a short trial, today, they would be doing life or executed for that action alone. The towns people were livid and they wanted blood (thenafter). If Lee had not shown up when he did, is it beyond the realm of possibility, or more even likihood, that the town folk would have linch the lot w/o a trial at all?
Passes? I believe I said Brown was a murderer and by some definitions a terrorist...As to what the towns people would do, they had already shown what they would do by shooting down men who surrandered and even one mans body to the pigs to feed on after they executed him...So does that make the townspeople murderers as well?
 

wilber6150

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#73
In reply #20 of this tread I posed the question whether JB should be considered, basically a hero, villain or something in between. I could have started a new tread but it seemed related and I dont think, by the question I posed, you could divorce him from his past actions. If Chalie Mason bought a flower, and put it in a hippe's hair, do we judge him just upon that or by the sum of his actions? The tread seemed to be getting somewhat lost in obscurity. So I asked the question. And U R correct, the title of the tread was about HF and JB, yet, it rubbed me a little the wrong way, when looking at all the plaques and such related to JB, that I wasnt seeing anything about the numerous battles which had been fought here between 1861 and 1865 and the brave men, North and South, who died there. I have never been to HF so I cant say this is the author's bias. If the soldiers are not mentioned and commemorated at HF- I think that is a shame on the NPS.
Use the search function, there are more then enough threads to debate Brown on..
 

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#74
John Brown's Raid
View attachment 49528
The famous guardhouse and fire engine house grandiosely known as John Brown's Fort has stood in no fewer than four locations in and around Harpers Ferry: its original location on the grounds of the U. S. Armory is across the street from its present location near the Point and tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but by the time it was moved to this hopefully final location, a railroad embankment was built over the first and much of the site of the armory itself. In between, it had been torn down to be exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair; when it returned, it was briefly on the Murphy-Chambers Farm before being moved to the grounds of Storer College on Camp Hill where I first saw it in the 1960's.

When Brown and his followers arrived, they crossed the Potomac on the B&O Railroad bridge, taking control of it and stopping at least one train on its way to Baltimore. Foolishly, Brown ordered it released when dawn broke, and its crew gave the warning when they arrived at Monocacy Junction; soon militiamen were hurrying from as far away as Shepherdstown, Frederick, Winchester, and even Baltimore. There was another wagon bridge near the postwar pilings below which led across the Shenandoah to Loudon Heights. Brown divided his party, sending three men down Shenandoah Street to capture the nightwatchman at the Hall Rifle Works.

View attachment 49530

Other members of his band rounded up several local citizens to be held as hostages. One party was sent several miles west to the farm of Col. Lewis Washington, grand-nephew of George Washington, who owned one of his ancestor's pistols presented to him by Lafayette and a sword said to have been given to him by Frederick the Great. Brown wanted these trophies to give credence to his role as Liberator. On the way back, the group stopped at the nearby Allstadt House on South Schoolhouse Ridge whose ruins are seen below, adding its owner to Washington and his heirlooms and liberating several more slaves who were likewise brought along as "enlistees" in Brown's army.

View attachment 49738

Meanwhile, back in Harpers Ferry itself the first blood had been shed when one of Brown's men shot and mortally wounded the first victim, ironically a free Negro named Heyward Shepherd who was an employee of the B&O Railroad. His monument, erected jointly by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans, is a lightning rod today for those who object to the promotion of the idea that Brown and his men were common terrorists, as suggested by the monument. Whether justified or not, it serves to demonstrate that as with our current crop of modern-day terrorists, Brown was a fanatic to whom the lives of individuals were suborned to the greater objective. He had issued orders that lives were to be spared, but Shepherd's fate didn't seem to worry him overmuch. Shepherd was tended for a while before he died by his friend and employer Fontaine Beckham who was also the town mayor.

View attachment 49531

Mayor Beckham foolishly exposed himself while trying to get a better view of what was going on in the Armory grounds, when he was struck and killed by a rifle ball. His death sent the growing number of townsmen into a rage and they soon began to exact revenge, killing one of the raiders who they had captured under a flag of truce. High Street below dead-ended at the arsenal buildings where completed guns were stored and became a battlefield as growing numbers of armed militiamen began to arrive, driving Brown and his followers and their captives into the tiny engine house near the Armory main gate. At least forty citizens had been made hostage, but many of them were rescued by a rush of militia around dusk of the 16th. Eleven of the most prominent like Washington and Allstadt were still held by the raiders in the one room of the "fort" they continued to occupy along with two of Brown's sons who lay dying.

View attachment 49532

Whatever his intentions, by noon of Oct. 17, Brown had attempted in vain to negotiate his escape in return for the release of his prisoners; the Hall works had been recaptured and its three captors killed, and those remaining on the Maryland side whose job had been to bring the pikes witnessed the failure of the raid and themselves had fled, as had the two inside the armory buildings who mingled with the crowd and made their escape. The arrival of ninety U. S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. J. E. B. Stuart around 11pm merely clinched the fate of Brown and his remaining followers, few of whom remained uninjured. Lee replaced the rowdy militiamen with Marines and waited until morning provided light enough to attack and free the remaining hostages. When morning came, Col. Lee offered the opportunity of storming the engine house to the commanders of the Maryland and Virginia militia, by now numbering in the hundreds, but they each declined, saying it was the business of the Marines.

View attachment 49529

When Stuart approached the engine house carrying a white flag he was at last able to see and confirm that the leader of the raiders was indeed his old adversary from Bleeding Kansas, John Brown. With the expected failure of negotiations, Stuart jumped aside waving his hat as a signal for the Marines to begin their assault. Using a convenient ladder as a battering ram they soon broke down the door; Marine Lt. Israel Greene was the first man inside. One of his Marines named Luke Quinn was killed but the others soon subdued the raiders using bayonets only in order to avoid harming any of the hostages; Brown was felled by several strokes from Greene's smallsword that gave him nasty head and neck wounds, and two of his men were bayonetted. Inside was like a charnel house; of Brown's entire party, ten had been killed, five were captured, and only four escaped; on the other side, four townsmen, freedman Shepherd, and Pvt. Quinn were also dead. An additional two of the escaped raiders were subsequently captured in Pennsylvania and returned to Virginia for trial with Brown and the others.

Next, John Brown's trial and execution.
This is incredible attention to detail, the photo's are second to non. Wow awesome!!!!!
 

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... And U R correct, the title of the tread was about HF and JB, yet, it rubbed me a little the wrong way, when looking at all the plaques and such related to JB, that I wasnt seeing anything about the numerous battles which had been fought here between 1861 and 1865 and the brave men, North and South, who died there. I have never been to HF so I cant say this is the author's bias. If the soldiers are not mentioned and commemorated at HF- I think that is a shame on the NPS.
Specster, you seem to be trying to find some reason to grind your ax, which if you'd pay attention is wholly unnecessary. Since you ignored my previous answer to your question, here it is again:

Here's my accompanying thread on the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-harpers-ferry-jacksons-greatest-victory.104193/
 

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#76
Ok let me try this again since you didn't understand my inital post...Browns sons were already having run ins with pro-slavery people while Brown was living in New York and they were in the territories becasue they were free soilers not because of any cause of their father. So to blame him for them getting wounded and killed there is wrong...Now if you want to blame him for getting the surviving ones involved in Harpers Ferry then thats a fair statment. Now where ever did I say that his cause wasn't abolition?
Was violence against abolitionists in the North that severe, that JB's sons were "having problems" not because of their lineage or actions (physical or verbal), but just because pro slavery forces were so prevalent in the North and that was the root of their problems?

Of all the places the sons could have moved after New York they select the territories where pro and anti forces are more forceful than virtually anywhere else in the country - and its a big country, even then. They could have gone anywhere in it, besides hopping a ship for Europe or a train for Canada. No, they end up in the territories and you dont think there is an objective behind that?
 

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#77
Specster, you seem to be trying to find some reason to grind your ax, which if you'd pay attention is wholly unnecessary. Since you ignored my previous answer to your question, here it is again:

Here's my accompanying thread on the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-harpers-ferry-jacksons-greatest-victory.104193/
Forgive me for trying to make sure that the soldiers that fought and died here were not forgtten.

I read your link and I do appreciate the fact that you brought their efforts to the fore a month ago and prior to your post about JB's actions here. If you will excuse me now my axe is getting dull and I think I should go sharpen it.
 

wilber6150

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#78
Was violence against abolitionists in the North that severe, that JB's sons were "having problems" not because of their lineage or actions (physical or verbal), but just because pro slavery forces were so prevalent in the North and that was the root of their problems?

Of all the places the sons could have moved after New York they select the territories where pro and anti forces are more forceful than virtually anywhere else in the country - and its a big country, even then. They could have gone anywhere in it, besides hopping a ship for Europe or a train for Canada. No, they end up in the territories and you dont think there is an objective behind that?
You might want to actually start reading peoples posts..Now for the third time, I said Browns sons were having problems with pro-slavery people while they were in the territories and their father was living in New York, and hadn't moved out there yet.
They went to where land was cheap and there were communities already formed like many other people who left states in the East..Why should they leave their country just to find some land to homestead? So in your mind people who didn't believe in slavery shouldn't have settled in the territories?
 
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Specster

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#79
Passes? I believe I said Brown was a murderer and by some definitions a terrorist...As to what the towns people would do, they had already shown what they would do by shooting down men who surrandered and even one mans body to the pigs to feed on after they executed him...So does that make the townspeople murderers as well?
My response regarding "passes" was not directed at you specifically. My point about the townspeople was that they were livid and looking for blood. I dont think they reached that mental state for no reason. I have mentioned this a million times, we are not dealing with modern moral, ethics or justice. I think most of us are familar with the term "frontier justice." I know someone will say that HP was not the Frontier.....but I think the term has a wider context.
 

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