John Brown

John Brown's Raid: To Do Battle in the Land DVD

"To Do Battle in the Land" Viewing Notes

  • John Brown: He was an abolitionist who used violence in his attempt to end slavery throughout the United States.
  • slavery: Many Americans in the 1850s wanted this institution ended, but some hoped that freed slaves would be sent back to Africa.
  • property: Slaves were bought and sold in the same manner as real estate and livestock.
  • raiders: John Brown raised a provisional army of 22 men who took control of Harpers Ferry.
  • Harpers Ferry: This small town was one of two armories built by the federal government to produce small arms for the United States Army.
  • terrorism: Brown justified his use of violence to end slavery because he believed he was acting as a freedom fighter.
  • abolitionists: These people usually tried to end slavery using peaceful strategies.
  • Civil War: Historians believe John Brown's Raid was another catalyst that led the South to finally leave the Union.
  • King Cotton: Plantation owners depended on slaves to pick cotton, a crop that was very important to the economy of the South.
  • Jefferson Davis: He became the first and only President of the Confederate States of America.
  • equality: Brown believed whites and blacks were created equal by God and was opposed to all forms of discrimination.
  • violence: Brown was willing to shed blood to achieve his goal of freeing all slaves.
  • Kansas Territory: Brown moved here in October 1855 and later fought at the Battle of Black-Jack.
  • Bleeding Kansas: Approximately 56 people were killed from 1854 to 1859 over the issue of whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state.
  • John Brown's Raid: This raid on Harpers Ferry was led by Brown on October 16, 1859, alongside 21 men. The raid ended 36 hours after Brown and some raiders were captured. Some raiders were killed, but others escaped and were never caught.
  • Provisional Army of the United States: John Brown gave this name to his group of 22 men. He hoped his soldiers would lead a slave uprising.
  • United States Armory and Arsenal: John Brown gained control of the armory, arsenal, and engine room located at Harpers Ferry.
  • Colonel Lee: Robert E. Lee and a detachment of United States Marines were sent by James Buchanan to capture the raiders.
  • Lieutenant Jeb Stuart: He was one of the officers who helped capture John Brown and the raiders.
  • madman: Some of Brown's defense team wanted him to plead insanity, but he refused.
  • Henry Wise: He was the governor of Virginia and stated he felt Brown was calm, cool, intelligent, and a man of personal integrity.
  • Jefferson County Courthouse: Brown was tried for treason at this courthouse in Virginia.
  • Newspapers: Reporters wrote articles explaining how Brown attempted to put the institution of slavery on trial.
  • secession: Former President John Tyler said that the South was arming to their teeth in preparation to leave the Union.
  • slave patrols: Support for secession grew during the trial of John Brown and Southerners began organizing just in case an uprising did take place among slaves.
  • abolitionism: Some abolitionists spoke highly of John Brown during his trial, some even called him a saint.
  • sentence: The jury found Brown guilty of murder, conspiracy, and treason. The judge sentenced him to hang until he was dead in a public place.
  • martyr: Brown wrote numerous letters before he was executed as a means to advance abolitionism and face martyrdom.

John Brown & Abolitionism R.A.F.T.

  • Review the Study Guide III terms Nat Turner, John Brown, Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Harpers Ferry.
  • Role: Abolitionist
  • Audience: 1859 Americans
  • Format: Newspaper Editorial
  • Topic: Did John Brown help or hurt the cause of abolitionism? Did he truly put the institution of slavery on trial?

John Brown: Hero or Villain Guide

All files mentioned under the instructions are posted at the bottom of this page.

  1. Take the John Brown Guide from the shelf and head it.
  2. Watch five-minute John Brown video clip from The Story of Us. While watching the video, the teacher will pass out the John Brown Sources.
  3. Review Hero or Villain Powerpoint and determine whether the pictures of historic and fictional people are heroes or villains by holding up a thumb for each hero and holding down a thumb for each villain.
  4. Analyze the two John Brown paintings in color and then begin answering the three primary and two primary sources.
  5. Complete the John Brown: Hero or Villain Guide before the end of the period or it becomes homework.