The Insane Radical | Teen Ink

The Insane Radical

May 21, 2009
By Christina Rudolph BRONZE, Lilburn, Georgia
Christina Rudolph BRONZE, Lilburn, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The fabric of human nature was shredded with the creation of John Brown. John Brown went against all of human nature; he fought not for profit but for justice. Brown stated his hatred for slavery with bravery and fought against it with the strength and dedication every man wants. No matter how dangerous the situation Brown stuck to his cause. Brown’s nature was to fight for what’s right not for what’s easy. This is what made Brown the heroic man we remember. His dedication and need for justice made him fight harder and want it more. John Brown’s altered nature can teach the world everything it needs to know. His need for righteousness put him in many precarious situations, but it never mattered. If you want something enough, it shouldn’t matter.
John Brown had a cause; he had something to fight for. Brown hated slavery, and he knew his purpose in life was to do something about it. He knew that slavery was unjust, and it had to end. Many say he was an insane radical, but in truth he knew exactly what he was doing. Brown invaded Harper’s Ferry, Virginia with twenty-one men by his side. He planned on getting the hundreds of slaves in the area to join his battle, so he could put the country in a large scare. Many people think Brown was totally insane for invading Harper’s Ferry with only twenty-one men and no guarantee of the slaves joining him. They thought that he believed he would win this battle and end slavery that day. He didn’t; John Brown did not completely think he would win this battle. He knew that the only way to end slavery was through a startling act. In a meeting with Fredrick Douglass, before the Harper’s Ferry Raid, Brown said, “It seems to me. Fredrick, that something startling is just what the nation needs,” (Carton, pg. 288). This quote proves that Brown knew winning was unlikely. It shows that Brown didn’t want to win this battle but make those that hated slavery stand up for what they wanted. John Brown knew what he wanted, and he knew how he was going to get it.
John Brown’s hatred toward slavery began when he was just a boy. He was moving cattle to a farm for his father. At the farm where he was delivering cattle, Brown befriended a young black slave. One day Brown saw his new friend getting beaten by the owner of the farm. AT that time, Brown lived in the North, so he had never seen such an act of cruelty. Owen Brown, Brown’s father, had told him of the evils of slavery, but never did he believe anyone could act in such an unjust way. This act sparked a life-long hatred. Brown’s hatred is not only what caused Bleeding Kansas and the Raid on Harper’s Ferry. Brown needed much more than just a strong hatred; he needed perseverance. Brown did something to change this country. He tried to change slavery. Instead of waiting for the world to change, he persevered and made a difference. He persevered, never letting anyone tell him his opinion was wrong. Brown never let failure, sickness, or negativity stop him. He persevered for his entire life. John Brown’s perseverance is what made America the slave free country it is today.
He stood up to the Virginian Army, to the American army. He stood up to the American public. John Brown was brave enough, strong enough to say what he felt. Brown stood up to the country in his raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Brown and twenty-one other men, some black and most white, marched into Harper’s Ferry alone. They were prepared to die that day to end slavery. These men drew their strength and bravery from John Brown. He led these men. This deed shows Brown’s great bravery. Brown showed bravery throughout his entire life in many more ways than one. He showed bravery through fighting, debating and stating his opinions. His being an abolitionist showed strength. He lived in a time when abolitionists were arrested and hanged for treason, but he never hesitated to say he hated slavery and was going to end it. Many say strength is shown through fighting or heroic acts, but John Brown showed strength through forming his opinions. He was never afraid to say he hated slavery. John Brown went against the crowd, and to me and many others this shows more strength than fighting in any war.
The last thing John Brown needed to make his fight strong was dedication. Brown dedicated his life to slavery. Brown took time away from his wife and children to fight against slavery. Many of the abolitionists during Brown’s time backed out of the anti-slavery fight when they saw how hard it was, but Brown never did. He stuck with it no matter how much he wanted or needed to see his family. Brown would have given his life in seconds to end this inhumane act. “I have told you my conditions, Lieutenant. Failing to have met them, my men and I are prepared to sell our lives dearly,” said Brown to a lieutenant as negotiating during Bleeding Kansas(Carton, pg. 11). This shows Brown’s willingness to die for his cause. It shows Brown and all of his men’s dedication to their cause. All of Brown’s men were just as dedicated as he was. John Brown refused to plead insanity at his Harper’s Ferry trial because that would not impact the country as much as him dying to end slavery. John Brown died in the fight to end slavery.
John Brown died for his cause; he fought until his last day of life to end slavery. He did it. John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry Raid caused some of the conflicts that led up to the Civil War. He may be called a lunatic or a radical, but he did only what was needed. He stood up to the crowd and tried to change it. He, unlike the thousands of Northerners opposing slavery, went out and did something to change the country. John Brown found his cause and showed great bravery through these acts. He persevered, never letting anyone tell him he couldn’t do it. John Brown made a strong leader and a great man because of the bravery and perseverance he showed when fighting for his cause. John Brown carried the traits that every person needs to make a difference. He had a cause. Brown knew what he wanted to change, and he knew how it would be changed. Then Brown didn’t wait for some one to do something about slavery, he was proactive. Brown did not stop fighting for hi cause until he was hanged for treason. But even after his death, John Brown’s word inspired many. This “insane radical” did exactly what was needed to be done to end man greatest cruelty, slavery. John Brown fought for his cause. John Brown was one of America’s strongest abolitionists, and is one man I will always look up to.

The author's comments:
After reading the book, Mine Eyes Have Seen by Ann Rinaldi, a great curiosity about Antubellum U.S. John Brown has proven to be one of the most amazing abolitioists in our history.

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