Was John Brown a terrorist or an abolitionist?
November 22, 2014
There have been many abolitionists throughout the history of the slave trade, but not many that took it to the extreme like John Brown did. His actions eventually led to the uprising of other serious events in history. Due to his actions, there has been much debate as to if John Brown should be deemed a terrorist for his actions at the massacre of Pottawatomie and raid on Harpers Ferry.
On the night of May 24, 1856, Brown led a group consisting of Thompson, Theodor Winer, his son-in-law, and four of his sons to Pottawatomie Creek. Brown was reacting to a raid led by pro-slavery settlers at Lawrence. When he heard about threats coming from Pottawatomi Creek, he gathered his men and he entered the house of James P. Doyle where Brown ordered James and his sons, William, Drury (former slave catchers) and John (Doyles16-year-old son) to go with him as prisoners. It took the begging of the prisoner’s mother to spare their lives. Once outside, Owen Brown and one of his other brothers sliced the Doyle family with swords. Afterwards, Brown shot James’ head to assure that he was dead. Next, the group ventured out to the house of Allen Wilkinson and was killed by Thompson and Theodor Winer. Then, they crossed Pottawatomie to the cabin of James Harris, who had guests: William Sherman, Jerome Glanville, and John S. Wightman. Brown interrogated Harris and Glanville regarding the threatening of the Free States settlers. Brown released them once being content with their responses, but killed William Sherman who was the brother of Henry Sherman, a militant pro-slavery activist. Two years after the event eight killings took place in the Kansas Territory because of politics involving slavery. The massacre was enough to spark many retaliations and battles over a three month period which...