Video encyclopedia

John Brown



John Brown's Bloody End to Slavery



John Brown Believed Slavery Was a Sin



BTS: Rediscovering John Brown w/ Ethan Hawke & James McBride | The Good Lord Bird | SHOWTIME



Who is John Brown?



The hanging of the abolitionist John Brown, Virginia, 1859

John Brown was an American abolitionist. Brown advocated the use of armed insurrection to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. He first gained national attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of 1856. He was dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement: "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" In May 1856, Brown and his supporters killed five supporters of slavery in the Pottawatomie massacre, which responded to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces. Brown then commanded anti-slavery forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie.
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  • Personal 

  • Transformative years in Springfield, Massachusetts 

  • Homestead in New York 

  • Actions in Kansas 

  • Move to Kansas 

  • Pottawatomie 

  • Palmyra and Osawatomie 

  • Brown's plans 

  • Gathering forces 

  • Preparations 

  • The raid 

  • The trial 

  • November 2 to December 2, 1859 

  • Plans for a rescue 

  • Victor Hugo's reaction 

  • Death and aftermath 

  • Transportation of his body 

  • Senate investigation 

  • Aftermath of the raid 

  • Views of contemporaries 

  • Views of historians and other writers 

  • Historiography 

  • Influences 

  • Archival material 

  • Legacy 

  • Statues 

  • John Brown Day 

  • Museums and sites 

  • Literature 

  • Paintings 

  • Monuments 

  • Historical markers 

  • Primary sources 

  • Secondary sources 

  • Historical fiction