Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by gem, May 18, 2017.
What was the basis for John Brown's moral clarity in regards to issue of slavery?
One would think JB wrote them down. Good to see you back .JB took a lot of disrespect since you were gone. I did defend the old and gentle Parson.
While I have to give the old Parson credit for having a lot of guts . Long range strategic thinking wasn't really his strong suit.
I couldn't tell you for certain, but I would speculate that Brown became a zealot to the point of insanity--rather like zealots of current times who commit suicide by police officer. Again, I will say that I can't be certain about any of this. These are my personal feelings about John Brown. My feelings will not be shared by all of our readers. I know that.
I think Brown was flat out, bat-sxxt crazy. Murdering his neighbors does not make him a hero. It does demonstrate that he was a zealot...to the point of living in a deranged, self deluded, separate reality.
In previous threads it was pointed out that John Brown's neighbours were about to kill John Brown and jis fellow anti slavery settlers. @cash posted some sources on this. John Brown also captured Border Ruffians and the released them after they saw the light.
As another poster pointed out in a previous thread ( I think it was @Pat Young ) if blacks were holding whites as slaves and John Brown was trying to free saud whites then John Brown would be a hero to all whites.
Psychopathy. Psychopaths are quite clear in their purpose, even single-minded.
He took a lot of disrespect because he deserves no respect.
Again if Brown was a black man attempting to free white people from being enslaved by blacks then John Brown would be a huge hero to whites. Many people then and now consider Brown a hero.
I did some research on John Brown for another, unrelated thread on guerilla warfare. It is a timeline of sorts on how John Brown arrived at where he did.
Initially his work was peaceful [Brown]. He helped slaves to escape via the Underground Railroad and ran an experimental community in upstate New York where whites and blacks could live as "brothers and equals". But gradually he came to believe that force would have to be used to lead blacks out of bondage. Brown became "wild and frenzied" after proslavery militants rampaged through the antislavery town of Lawrence on May 21, 1856...On May 24, he and seven followers, including four of his sons and a son-in-law, set out for the proslavery settlement at Pottawatomie Creek, where they committed the five murders that quickly became a nationwide sensation.
A week later Brown rounded up twenty-six impoverished, bedraggled volunteers ("we had come to wearing ideas, suspicion, and memories of what had once been coats, pants, and hats" one of his men wrote) and led them against a camp of proslavery militiamen. Four of the militiamen were killed, and the other twenty-four surrendered in the grandly named Battle of Black Jack. The Border Ruffians got their revenge in August 1856 when they razed the Free State settlement at Osawatomie, killing one of John Brown's sons and four other defenders. Brown and the rest of his small band were badly outnumbered and forced to retreat. Nevertheless, "Old Brown of Osawatomie" became even more celebrated for his willingness to fight in accordance with the instructions he gave his men: "Take more care to end life well than to live long" Max Boot, Invisible Armies, [pg214]
I will be perfectly honest: One can look at John Brown and view him as a stand-alone nut case, or one can place him in growing maelstrom and view him as part of the escalation of violence. In my case: One can just read, mouth agape, and realize that there was a whole war-before-the-war that desperately needs more timeand focus to understand.
If, if, if....He wasn't. That's the best retort you have, if, if, if? I'm disappointed.
Your second point is proof that the word hero is meaningless. Thank you. May I cite it for future discussions?
Brown and his sons took some neighbors out of their homes and hacked them to death. I believe a couple of other neighbors might have been shot a short distance from their homes before being hacked up. I have lost track of the body count at this moment. These acts might be perceived by a few as acts of self defense on the part of a deranged man, but these acts were not committed in self defense. Nor was going to Harper's Ferry an act of self defense against neighbors who were trying to do him in.
I believe he was nuttier than a fruit cake. If some of you don't agree, that's fine, too.
That's a helluva way to about innocent fruit cakes sir!
You are correct, Borderruffian. I apologize to fruitcakes in pantries everywhere.
I though we were told not to judge people of 1850-60 by modern standards. Many people at time saw John brown as a hero. Brown has many monuments honoring his heroism for the cause of freedom. No one has taken down any of his monuments,
He was loopy by 1850's-1860's standards, he just had a better PR firm (and still does) .
For many, the ends justify the means. The details tend to get lost in the celebration.
When I get home from school today, I'm going to create a thread based off of this discussion if you don't mind. The idea of who in the pre-war, civil war and reconstruction was a hero gets thrown around a lot on cwt. So let's hash it out and come to absolutely no agreement: Civil War Era Heroes...why are they, why aren't they. I'm going to put it in the U of ACW Forum so that I can moderate it and anyone not following the rules gets banned.
See everyone this afternoon or evening.
No Brown wasn't black but he was willing to die to make them free. That makes him both a hero to many
and a villian to those who hate black people.
@Pat Young has a thread on how the KKK was considered heroic in many school text books. Does that make the term heroic meaninglessness?
Why is Brown worse then the Klan?
Those that condemn Brown don't condemn those who owned slave owners. Those who condem Brown are fine with Border Ruffians and the Klan.
I will go along with what Frederic Douglas wrote about Brown. Brown may of used the wrong tactics but his heart was in the right place.
A question for you and @Borderruffian . was John Brown and his fellow anti-slavery settlers supposed to wait patiently in their homes for their " neighbors " to murder them? If I recall correctly either @major bill or @cash posted sources that Brown was doing unto others before the did it unto them.
Separate names with a comma.