John Brown was one of the only few white men that genuinely interacted with African Americans with the sole intention of promoting equality and real intimacy. In the course of his lifetime, John Brown portrayed genuine interests in anti-slavery and the rights of African Americans. Although some of his acts may seem barbaric, placing them in his time and context one can see that he was more than a horse thief, an indiscriminate murdered and a swindler. In fact, his lifestyle and attitudes towards the slaves (African American) depicted him as a real revolutionist, uncompromising idealist and a principled agitator who envisioned a society free of racial prejudice.
With the rise of other religion fanatics such as Osama bin Laden, there have been controversies on the interpretation of John Brown. The timeframe has affected the interpretation of John Brown. In his time, most of the whites in West Virginia saw him as a terrorist, and a blood thirst zealot. However, their notion has changed over time with the rise of religion idealists such as Bin Laden, who have discriminated and eliminated everyone opposing their religion theocracy. Today, most of the scholars view Brown as a hero, a martyr and a freedom fighter who was obsessed with human liberty and democratic society where every member would obtain their full rights regardless of their gender, race and religion.
The Source: Bibliographies of John Brown is an article that was written by W.E.B. Du Bois, in 1909. Du Bois portray John Brown as a person who had genuine motives towards eradication of slavery and creation of an American that would give anyone their rights, irrespective of their races, religion or gender. He describes him as exasperatingly simple, plain, unlettered and homely and a person who saw things to the end. Slavery is wrong, kill it, destroy it and uproot it. The article supports the actions of John Brown as he was against the barriers of uplift of African American by law, might and traditions terming them as the wicked things on earth. Du Bois views Browns motives as having been fueled by his desires to extend his love to his neighbors regardless of their status as it has been directed in the Bible Love your neighbor as you love yourself. John Browns believe that all men are equal and free led him to take his course of actions holding that the cost of liberty is nothing less than the price of repression, and thus he was willing to do anything that it would take.
John Brown is an article that was written by Robert Penn Warrant in 1929. Robert depicts John Brown and his actions as being abnormal. His enormous force of will, egotism, deliberate cruelties, intolerance and merciless ambitions led by his religion fanatics made beyond doubt abnormal. The article argues that the John Brown desired the judgment passed by the court of law to execute him like any other criminal. He supports his arguments by proposing that John Brown was more intelligent, stronger and sane than his promoters thus he was responsible for his barbaric actions. The merciless killings of the five people and the stealing of their horses were too savage for such an intelligent man who could not be justified by their religion beliefs as they claimed.
John Brown, Abolitionist, is an article that was written by David S. Reynolds, in the year 2005. In this article, David views John Brown as a terrorist who had good motives of addressing social injustices in the American Society. How, Brown used excessive forces to address the injustices thus his actions qualifies to be termed as terror attacks as those performed by other terrorists such as Cromwell and Osama Bin Laden. Brown is, however, different from modern terrorists in that he used violence in an attempt to have justice restored in the society and to have a society free of slavery and racism. Also, his attacks were discriminative as he carefully chose his victims so that he would only target those who practiced slavery. John Brown believed that slavery was the sum of all social evils in the American society. Consequently, he was forced to use firearms. Unlike other terrorists that are focused on race and religion roots, Brown was focused on addressing social evils.
The three articles described above have varied views and interpretation of John Brown. Du Bois portray John Brown as the savior of the society who had a vision of establishing a just American Community. Contrary, Robert Penn Warrant calls Brown a madman whose religion idealism and led him to merciless killings, stealing and destruction of peoples property. David S. Reynolds views John Brown as a good terrorist whose motives were directed towards addressing injustices in the American community that was caused by racism and slavery.
Re-evaluating John Browns Raid at Harpers Ferry is an article that was posted on West Virginia History website by Karen Whitman. The article was written in October 1972. Whitman portrays John Brown as a peculiar abolitionist who took actions to address the social injustices that the slaves went through on the hands of their masters. The authors argue that Brown was a unique activist because he made the matter his personal responsibility and took immediate actions to address the social problem while other people were approaching the problem through political speaking, writing, and collection of petitions. His close and personal interactions with the African American who were slaves made him have a comprehensive understanding of their afflictions and the atrocities that they had to bear. His actions was a reaction to rising alarm that later led to the end of slavery, and the African Americans were granted their liberty.
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