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6 Interesting Facts About John Brown, the White Abolitionist Who Led a Slave Uprising


John_brown_1859The Beginning 

John Brown (May 9, 1800 – Dec. 2, 1859) was a white abolitionist who led a rebellion against slavery in the United States. Brown was born to a religious family from Connecticut who despised the institution of slavery. He fathered 20 children with various women from around the country.


Appletons'_Lovejoy_Elijah_ParishThe Catalyst 

Brown was constantly moving from one state to the next. In 1837, Brown was living in the Ohio town of Franklin Mills, where he came to know the work of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy. That year was a major catalyst for Brown. At that time, he was bankrupt and struggling to get back on his feet. Lovejoy was murdered because of his abolitionist work on Nov. 7, 1837. According Southern Illinois University archives, his violent death greatly stimulated abolitionist feeling throughout the North. Brown proclaimed, “Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!”

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3 thoughts on “6 Interesting Facts About John Brown, the White Abolitionist Who Led a Slave Uprising

  1. "He fathered 20 children with various women from around the country." What? LOL. John Brown was widowed and remarried, and sired twenty children from these marriages. HE DID NOT father children with "various women from around the country." As a biographer of the man, I'm always defending him against white propaganda that calls him the so-called "original terrorist." Please do not add to my labors having to defend Brown against the charge that he was the original "playa playa." LOL

  2. "Even though he had good intentions, he clearly wanted to be a white savior to Black people that he saw as children." This is a distortion. Brown never projected himself as a "white savior." He was older than most of the black settlers in the Adirondacks, and they were overwhelmingly city folk who knew NOTHING about farming, esp. in a mountain climate. The Adirondack black experiment was a proto-black nationalist effort, and Brown supported it. He did not treat black people like children, but in this case he understood the kind of role he played. Furthermore, the proof is in the fact that you will NEVER find a black testimony of Brown being paternalistic. As to being a savior, he was a sincere Christian and believed that it was his calling to give his life to end slavery. He gave his life. Ask WEB DuBois, James Baldwin, John O. Killens, and others if JB thought he was a "white savior."

  3. Frederick Douglass on John Brown:
    "One of the most marked characters, and greatest heroes known to American fame."
    "His zeal in the cause of freedom was infinitely superior to mine. Mine was as the taper light, his was as the burning sun. Mine was bounded by time. His stretched away to the silent shores of eternity. I could speak for the slave. John Brown could fight for the slave. I could live for the slave. John Brown could die for the slave."

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