My thoughts on John Brown

Orion.M.E

Private
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
FD114904-5C5C-4C47-A24D-457F4F4D30DD.jpeg

As my family liked to put it, John Brown was “the good crazy.” And I think that perfectly sums up Brown. Brown’s uprising was in reality was one of the most craziest things to imagine, but all of it was for the amazing cause of ending slavery. I believe that his attempted uprising was successful as it boosted the abolitionist cause. I remember going to Harpers Ferry and entering the very building that Brown was captured in by Robert E. Lee’s marines. The place was overall empty but you could really feel the history of the place, looking at the stand with a depiction of the capture. It gave a feeling hard to describe, but it definitely made this uprising feel more personal when standing in the very spot John Brown stood. John Brown was technically was a terrorist, but now a days he’s remembered for being a figure of freedom. Back then he was viewed the same by the north but the south were the ones who found him guilty of terrorism which is understandable, but I think that in conclusion, Brown was the good kind of crazy, who fought to the end for a good cause that he’s remembered for.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

letterreader

Private
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
View attachment 388394
As my family liked to put it, John Brown was “the good crazy.” And I think that perfectly sums up Brown. Brown’s uprising was in reality was one of the most craziest things to imagine, but all of it was for the amazing cause of ending slavery. I believe that his attempted uprising was successful as it boosted the abolitionist cause. I remember going to Harpers Ferry and entering the very building that Brown was captured in by Robert E. Lee’s marines. The place was overall empty but you could really feel the history of the place, looking at the stand with a depiction of the capture. It gave a feeling hard to describe, but it definitely made this uprising feel more personal when standing in the very spot John Brown stood. John Brown was technically was a terrorist, but now a days he’s remembered for being a figure of freedom. Back then he was viewed the same by the north but the south were the ones who found him guilty of terrorism which is understandable, but I think that in conclusion, Brown was the good kind of crazy, who fought to the end for a good cause that he’s remembered for.
I think that is a fair and accurate descriptions, "good crazy." I too had a similar feeling after visiting Harper's Ferry about two years ago. Even walking around the town and looking at the building from various vantage points you can see what a poor choice the location was for his final actions. The late Tony Horowitz wrote a book I enjoyed on Brown, "Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War," https://www.secondsale.com/i/midnig...raid-that-sparked-the-civil-war/9780312429263

Among the interesting details he shares are those concerning the initial reactions from abolitionists from whom he first sought support before the raid, and their reactions after learning of the raid. Most thought the idea was crazy but were equally shocked when he actually carried it out. Interesting too is that he assumed slaves in the region would quickly jump to support the raid. Some from the region, despite spite of their enslavement, thought the plan was doomed to fail and knew what awaited them should they flee and participate.

The "good crazy" does fit with other similar events that preceded major changes in our history. You can look into the events in Boston that preceded the Revolution to find good examples, such as the clash between soldiers and a mob in March 1770 that left five citizens dead. The radicals of the day called it the Boston Massacre; the British called it the incident on King Street. The term "Boston Massacre" prevailed, mythologizing to some extent the event and launching a shift in American public opinion. Brown's raid and it's interpretation at the time, initially condemned by nearly all including most abolitionists, was later reinterpreted and took on a new role after the War began and especially by the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Brown was "crazy" but his principle motives were "good." His name with new lyrics was invoked later in one of the most popular songs of the period and sung by Union soldiers, "John Brown's Body Lies a Moulderin' in His Grave...." Thanks for sharing.
 

Orion.M.E

Private
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
I think that is a fair and accurate descriptions, "good crazy." I too had a similar feeling after visiting Harper's Ferry about two years ago. Even walking around the town and looking at the building from various vantage points you can see what a poor choice the location was for his final actions. The late Tony Horowitz wrote a book I enjoyed on Brown, "Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War," https://www.secondsale.com/i/midnig...raid-that-sparked-the-civil-war/9780312429263

Among the interesting details he shares are those concerning the initial reactions from abolitionists from whom he first sought support before the raid, and their reactions after learning of the raid. Most thought the idea was crazy but were equally shocked when he actually carried it out. Interesting too is that he assumed slaves in the region would quickly jump to support the raid. Some from the region, despite spite of their enslavement, thought the plan was doomed to fail and knew what awaited them should they flee and participate.

The "good crazy" does fit with other similar events that preceded major changes in our history. You can look into the events in Boston that preceded the Revolution to find good examples, such as the clash between soldiers and a mob in March 1770 that left five citizens dead. The radicals of the day called it the Boston Massacre; the British called it the incident on King Street. The term "Boston Massacre" prevailed, mythologizing to some extent the event and launching a shift in American public opinion. Brown's raid and it's interpretation at the time, initially condemned by nearly all including most abolitionists, was later reinterpreted and took on a new role after the War began and especially by the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Brown was "crazy" but his principle motives were "good." His name with new lyrics was invoked later in one of the most popular songs of the period and sung by Union soldiers, "John Brown's Body Lies a Moulderin' in His Grave...." Thanks for sharing.
Ya it’s true, my ancestor John Adams defended the British troops from the Boston Massacre. Another one of my ancestors Ralph Waldo Emerson was a supporter of the abolitionist cause, he even let John Brown into his home.
 
Last edited:

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
The building where he was captured had a long history after 1859. It was relocated a few times and was rebuilt about 150 feet east of its original location.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Brown was the good kind of crazy, who fought to the end for a good cause that he’s remembered for
The cause of abolition was undoubtedly noble, but I must disagree that Brown was a "good kind" of crazy. From his days in Kansas when he carried out the cold blooded Pottawatomie massacre of innocent civilians, to his clumsy and hapless Harpers Ferry raid, which again resulted in the deaths of innocents, Brown was misguided in his belief that terrorism was a justifiable means to advance the cause of abolition. Yes, Brown became a potent symbol for northerners who believed in his cause, but from a historical perspective, there was no justification for his actions.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Unfortunately, John Brown's actions at Harpers Ferry didn't result in the liberation of any slaves. It did however, result in the death of innocent people including a freed black man and the Mayor of Harpers Ferry.
Actually in the not so short term John Brown helped spark the ACW which absolutely freed slaves. Innocent people die in wars all the time. America has a very complex relationship with terrorism . It's not that America has never supported terrorism in fact it did so against the Indians long before , during and after the ACW. Terrorism isn't good or bad it's something that been around a long time and is as American as apple pie.
Leftyhunter
 

mofederal

Major
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
Brown was committing treason at Harper's Ferry. He deserved being drawn and quartered, he was lucky. Somehow hacking innocent people to death with a corn knife is still murder. He was never good crazy he was nuts. You ever notice why he didn't mess with Missouri. He would not have survived the trip. There was no war on when he was committing treason at Harper's Ferry except for the imaginary one in his head. He was a murderer plain and simple, I doubt it would have bothered him to kill women and children either. He was clearly a Darwin Award Winner.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
He like many of the Northern Aristocrats who funded him wanted a Race War. His Conspirators were shielded from prosecution and hailed as heroes in Yankeedom. If one section cheered at the possible destruction of the other, surely it had a impact.

People of the time knew what happened in Santo Domingo.
A race war to the elimination of Whites. Fear of that had influence of attitudes about Free Blacks, North and South. North refused to live with blacks and wanted their free blacks colonized. Also influenced ideas about emancipation. Fear that if blacks were emancipated it would result in a Race War. So I don‘t think his raid was a failure. He was, as always. But no one could predict the effect it would have.
 
He like many of the Northern Aristocrats who funded him wanted a Race War. His Conspirators were shielded from prosecution and hailed as heroes in Yankeedom. If one section cheered at the possible destruction of the other, surely it had a impact.
And many Southerners chose war to protect the enslavement of a race with the leaders escaping prosecution.
 

TnFed

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
He like many of the Northern Aristocrats who funded him wanted a Race War. His Conspirators were shielded from prosecution and hailed as heroes in Yankeedom. If one section cheered at the possible destruction of the other, surely it had a impact.

People of the time knew what happened in Santo Domingo.
A race war to the elimination of Whites. Fear of that had influence of attitudes about Free Blacks, North and South. North refused to live with blacks and wanted their free blacks colonized. Also influenced ideas about emancipation. Fear that if blacks were emancipated it would result in a Race War. So I don‘t think his raid was a failure. He was, as always. But no one could predict the effect it would have
Brown was committing treason at Harper's Ferry. He deserved being drawn and quartered, he was lucky. Somehow hacking innocent people to death with a corn knife is still murder. He was never good crazy he was nuts. You ever notice why he didn't mess with Missouri. He would not have survived the trip. There was no war on when he was committing treason at Harper's Ferry except for the imaginary one in his head. He was a murderer plain and simple, I doubt it would have bothered him to kill women and children either. He was clearly a Darwin Award Winner.
He might not have fared that well in East TN either.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
And many Southerners chose war to protect the enslavement of a race with the leaders escaping prosecution.
Which has little to with Brown at all......or some false "good crazy" nonsense.

The OP was John Brown.......not secession or southerners.......quite a jump from the OP to what? Try to falsely point blame of Browns actions elsewhere?

His remarks would go to where the "good crazy" nonsense started to excuse a whole host of crimes by Brown....not seeing how your remark relates to Brown or "good crazy".....are suggesting secession was "good crazy" as well?
 
Last edited:
Which has little to with Brown at all......or some false "good crazy" nonsense.

The OP was John Brown.......not secession or southerners.......quite a jump from the OP to what? Try to falsely point blame of Browns actions elsewhere?

His remarks would go to where the "good crazy" nonsense started to excuse a whole host of crimes by Brown....not seeing how your remark relates to Brown or "good crazy".....are suggesting secession was "good crazy" as well?

No attempt to point the blame for Brown's actions elsewhere. He alone is responsible for his acts. Just making a comparison how others used violence in attempts to achieve their goals with slavery.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Actually in the not so short term John Brown helped spark the ACW which absolutely freed slaves. Innocent people die in wars all the time. America has a very complex relationship with terrorism . It's not that America has never supported terrorism in fact it did so against the Indians long before , during and after the ACW. Terrorism isn't good or bad it's something that been around a long time and is as American as apple pie.
Leftyhunter
Thank you for informing us about your views on terrorism.
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Here is a thought-provoking article from Smithsonian magazine. Was John Brown a lunatic? murderer? fanatic? hero? prophet? martyr? saint? treasonous? radical? terrorist? The writer let's you decide. However, he builds a good case that Brown's actions in Kansas and at Harper's Ferry do not fit the definition of terrorism. Some intereting reading....


 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: WJC

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Actually in the not so short term John Brown helped spark the ACW which absolutely freed slaves. Innocent people die in wars all the time. America has a very complex relationship with terrorism . It's not that America has never supported terrorism in fact it did so against the Indians long before , during and after the ACW. Terrorism isn't good or bad it's something that been around a long time and is as American as apple pie.
Leftyhunter

Demonizing a group of people and claiming moral Authority over them is another concept as American as Apple Pie also. Used to justify Violence against a group to obtain economic or Political control over them.

Reminds me of the Slavepower Conspiracy. Yes Blacks benefited from this. Even thou it was never the primary attempt of Whites.

Negrophobic Northern Whites didn’t do it for Blacks. They did it for themselves. Brown might have been a proponent of Equality and Free Love. 99 percent of Yankees were not.
 

Similar threads

Top