Which of the Following Statements is True of John Brown

Which of the Following Statements is True of John Brown.

Figure 1.

John Brown has been subject to constant reinterpretation in the century and one-half since he led the 1859 assault on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. In this photograph by John H. Tarbell, an unnamed African American man in Ashville, Due north Carolina is belongings a copy of Joseph Barry’s
The Strange Story of Harper’s Ferry, published a twelvemonth earlier. Judging by the man’s historic period, he was alive in 1859, and quite possibly enslaved. One tin can merely wonder at his interpretation of John Brownish. (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

On the cusp of his December 1859 execution for treason, murder, and inciting a slave rebellion, John Dark-brown handed a note to his guard which read, “I, John Brownish, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land tin never be purged away but with blood.” Although the institution of slavery was purged in the crucible of the American Civil War, John Brown’s determination to expose and end chattel slavery still resonates. The multiple legacies of slavery and questions about the efficacy of violence as a tool for change in a democratic society continually bring historians and teachers dorsum to the complicated life of John Brown. When students consider Brown’s contributions to the American narrative, lines between advocacy and criminality, contrasts between intensity and obsession, and differences between democratic ideals and harsh reality are brought to the surface. To this 24-hour interval, artists, authors, historians, political activists, and creators of popular civilisation maintain a fascination with the antebellum rights-warrior and his death.

This standing interest in John Dark-brown presents a great didactics opportunity. Not only can we aid to situate John Brown within the context of his era, but we tin explore how historical interpretations of the man and his actions have changed over time. The lesson I describe in this article asks students to consider Brown’s biography, multiple artistic representations of the abolitionist, every bit well every bit historical and contemporary viewpoints in gild to develop an evidence-based interpretation of how this controversial historical effigy should exist commemorated. Students behave an analysis of the diverse, and often conflicting, historical sources, and and so use their interpretations to the development of a historical marker that would be placed at the Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park. In this sense, Brown provides a unique opportunity for students to examine a figure whose actions, and their attendant meanings, tell us as much almost antebellum America and the origins of the Civil War equally they do nearly our ain time.

The Bigger Picture

Challenging students to develop an interpretation of John Dark-brown ties into my broader philosophy well-nigh history instruction. Research on history education, going dorsum nearly a century, indicates that few students retain, empathise, or enjoy their school experiences with history (i). This dismal track tape stems from a teaching method that relies primarily on the memorization of names and dates. To limit the study and assessment of history to a student’southward ability to regurgitate these facts hides the true nature of the discipline. History, at its cadre, is the written report of questions and the analysis of evidence in an endeavour to develop and defend thoughtful responses. For students to truly be engaged with the by, they must exist taught thinking skills that mirror those employed past historians. Recent research suggests that students are more capable of evaluating historical sources, using them to develop an estimation, and articulating their interpretations in a diversity of formats. When doing so, students get powerful thinkers rather than consumers of a predetermined narrative path (2).

Asking questions nigh causality, chronology, continuity and change over time,
multiple perspectives,
significance, and motivation enable students to employ the substantive information to address essential historical issues. In addition, students must exist taught to approach historical sources with the agreement that they are repositories of information that reflect a item temporal, geographic, and socio-economical perspective. Analyzing a variety of historical sources—be they diaries, artifacts, music, images, or monographs—enables students to scrutinize the remnants of the by and apply this evidence to the task at manus. Employing these historical thinking skills in a classroom setting empowers students to use the names, dates, and events to develop, revise, and defend evidence-based interpretations of the questions that drive the study of history (3).

Given the path illuminated in the scholarship and my own experiences with educational activity history to high school students for eighteen years, I planned the John Brown lesson with an accent on source work and pupil development of evidence-based explanations focused on a key historical question. At the determination of the lesson, my students are asked to determine how John Brownish and his life should be commemorated. Engaging in many, though not all, of the considerations involved in public history, my students set out to interpret Brown’s life for a twenty-start century audience. To practice so, they must get to know the individual, his actions, and how Dark-brown was seen past both his contemporaries and historians from his time to the present.


Built-in in the first year of the nineteenth century to a devoutly Calvinist family, John Brownish credits witnessing a slave beingness browbeaten with a shovel as the origin of his devotion to the anti-slavery cause. Unlike most of the abolitionists that arose in the 1830s, Brown was dedicated to both the abolition of chattel slavery and racial equality. This commitment was exemplified in his 1838 decision to escort a free black to sit in his family pew. This assuming act led to his family’s expulsion from the church. In a fruitless try to get economically solvent, Brown moved to Springfield, Massachusetts in 1846 to develop his wool business. In Springfield, Brown befriended, lived among, and attended church alongside African Americans. Dark-brown’s sincere empathy for the plight of the slave was reflected in a letter written past abolitionist Frederick Douglass after coming together Chocolate-brown. Douglass, who made a trip to Springfield expressly to run across Dark-brown, stated that Brown was “in sympathy, a black homo, and equally securely interested in our crusade, as though his ain soul had been pierced with the iron of slavery.” During this meeting, Chocolate-brown revealed what he called his “Subterranean Pass Way.” Using the Appalachian Mountains as a base, this plan envisioned a rebellion that would arm slaves, encourage their revolt, and directly people north to freedom. It was in Springfield where Brownish offset revealed the elements of what would become the final act of his life: a raid on the South to promote a slave rebellion.

In 1849, Brown moved his family to North Elba, New York to live on a communal farm created past abolitionist Gerrit Smith (Figure 2). Living with black families was a clear indication of Brown’south delivery to a biracial society. In 1851, reacting to the Fugitive Slave provisions of the Compromise of 1850, Dark-brown returned to Springfield and established the League of Gileadites. Dedicated to protecting escaped slaves from slave catchers, the League was a concrete expression of Chocolate-brown’s visceral distaste for federal complicity with the institution of slavery. Brown vehemently expressed his passion for equality in May of 1858, when he presented his “Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the The states” to an anti-slavery convention in Ontario, Canada. Essentially a new constitution for a slavery-free United States, the certificate stated that:

Read:   Which Payment Option Provides Consistency in on Time Bill Payment

Figure ii.

In 1848, John Brown learned of abolitionist Gerrit Smith's offer of gratis land to blacks in the Adirondacks. The next year, Brown moved his family to North Elba, New York to join this experiment. Though he soon left for “Encarmine” Kansas, he considered North Elba his home and asked to be cached there. In 1935, the John Chocolate-brown Memorial Association dedicated this statue, designed by Joseph P. Pollia, just due north of the gravesite, now part of the John Dark-brown Farm State Historic Site: <http://nysparks.state.ny.us/historic-sites/29/details.aspx> (Courtesy of photographer David Blakie, <http://davidblaikie.ca/>)” data-path-from-xml=”oahmagoar003f02_3c.gif”>
<p class=In 1848, John Brown learned of abolitionist Gerrit Smith’southward offer of free land to blacks in the Adirondacks. The next yr, Dark-brown moved his family unit to North Elba, New York to join this experiment. Though he presently left for “Bloody” Kansas, he considered Due north Elba his abode and asked to be buried at that place. In 1935, the John Brown Memorial Association dedicated this statue, designed past Joseph P. Pollia, only north of the gravesite, now role of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site: <http://nysparks.land.ny.us/celebrated-sites/29/details.aspx> (Courtesy of photographer David Blakie, <http://davidblaikie.ca/>)

Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the The states, is none other than a nigh barbarous, unprovoked, and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens upon another portion-the just conditions of which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude or absolute extermination-in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-axiomatic truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence:

Therefore, nosotros, citizens of the Us, and the oppressed people who, by a recent decision of the Supreme Court, [The
Dred Scott
Decisions] are declared to have no rights which the white homo is bound to respect, together with all other people degraded past the laws thereof, practice, for the fourth dimension being, ordain and establish for ourselves the following Provisional Constitution and Ordinances, the meliorate to protect our persons, belongings, lives, and liberties, and to govern our actions (4).

This was a clear statement of Brown’s opposition to slavery and his dedication to equality. Withal for Chocolate-brown, information technology was not words, but actions, that seared his name into the pantheon of American history. Speaking to the community of former slaves in Canada, Dark-brown announced his plan to invade the American South and foment a slave rebellion using the mountains of western Virginia, Due north Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama to provide cover for his uprising. It would be this uprising that occupied much of his travel, speaking, and fundraising between 1858 and his death in 1859.

Brown’south first overt public action took identify in May of 1856. In Kansas, Dark-brown led a group of men on a raid that killed five proslavery men along the Pottawatomie Creek. Though Brown claimed non to have participated in the actual murders, the brutality of the act has come to symbolize the violence that struck Kansas territory as a issue of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Violence equally a tool for change was again employed by Brown in 1858 in Missouri. Brown entered Vernon County, just across the Kansas border, and attacked several proslavery farmers, stole horses and wagons, and secured the freedom of eleven enslaved persons. His raid led to the deaths of several farmers, and consequently a bounty of $250 was placed on his head by President James Buchanan and his name was splashed over newspapers beyond the nation. After traveling more than a m miles over eighty-plus days, Brown delivered the newly liberated former-slaves into the easily of Canada and liberty.

Secretly funded by half-dozen abolitionists from Massachusetts, armed with thousands of pikes purchased in Connecticut, driven by his deep disdain for slavery, and supported by xx-one other men, Dark-brown headed to western Maryland to reconnoiter for his final attempt to foment a rebellion aimed at destroying the establishment of slavery. The raid on the federal arsenal in Harper’south Ferry, Virginia was initiated on the evening of Oct 16, 1859. In what quickly developed into a rout, more than than half of Chocolate-brown’s followers were killed and the remaining eight, including Brown, were captured the following day. Indicted, found guilty, and sentenced to die, John Dark-brown was hanged in Charlestown, Virginia on December 2, 1859 (5).

Pedagogy the Lesson

The lesson begins with students examining a serial of images depicting John Brown (the full lesson program can exist found online at <http://housedivided.dickinson.edu/sites/oahmagazine>). Students are asked to depict the emotions each prototype evokes, identify elements of the piece that assistance to communicate the creative person’due south perspective, and depict the individual in the image. Be it a graphic novel, statuary, Currier and Ives prints, New Deal–sponsored murals, the fine art of Jacob Lawrence, or daguerreotypes, John Brown’s visual depictions vary in subtle and not and then subtle ways. My students are immediately attracted to both the images and the overt discrepancies in how Brown appears and is depicted. Students oft describe Brown as a crazy old man, a savior, or a dedicated abolitionist. They are fascinated with how Brown looks in the photographic images as well as how various artists have presented him. Of particular involvement is the evolution of the apocryphal epitome of Chocolate-brown kissing a slave child on the steps of the Charlestown jail. Its origin appears to be a John Greenleaf Whittier Poem, “Dark-brown of Osawatomie,” published in the
New York Contained
on December 22, 1859, three weeks after Dark-brown’s execution. The poet’s outset three stanzas eloquently depict Brown’southward final act:

John Brown of Osawatomie spake on his dying day:

‘I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery’southward pay;

But permit some poor slave-female parent whom I have striven to free,

With her children, from the gallows-stair put up a prayer for me!’

John Chocolate-brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die;

And lo! a poor slave-mother with her trivial child pressed almost:

And then the bold, blue eye grew tender, and the erstwhile harsh face grew mild,

Every bit he stooped between the jeering ranks and kissed the negro’s child!

The shadows of his stormy life that moment barbarous apart,

And they who blamed the bloody mitt forgave the loving heart;

That kiss from all its guilty means redeemed the good intent,

And round the grisly fighter’s hair the martyr’southward aureole bent! (vi)

The notion of Brown consecrating his sacrifice for slaves with a kiss to the cheek of a slave kid found visual form in the 1860 painting,
John Brown on His Manner to Execution
by Louis Ransom. It was further popularized by an 1863 Currier and Ives colored lithograph entitled
John Chocolate-brown, and subtitled
Coming together the slave-mother and her child on the steps of Charlestown jail on his way to execution.
Thomas Noble’southward
John Chocolate-brown’southward Approval
appeared in 1867, a redrawn Currier and Ives,
John Dark-brown—The Martyr
debuted in 1870. Finally, in 1884, Thomas Hovenden painted his memorialization of the mythical kiss in his
Concluding Moments of John Brown
(See encompass image) (7). This introductory element of the lesson fertilizes the pedagogical ground for growing a deep and meaningful investigation of Chocolate-brown.

Read:   What Type of Information is Best Suited for Infographics

Effigy 3.

Based on an 1859 painting by Louis Ransom, this Currier & Ives lithograph is entitled John Brown. Meeting the slave-mother and her child on the steps of Charlestown jail on his way to execution. A precursor of Thomas Hovenden's 1884 painting on the cover of this issue, it offers a darker, more symbolic depiction of the mythical event. To Brown's left, we see his elderly jailer, a wealthy slaveholder, and a militia member dressed in an aristocratic uniform. To his right stands the embodied spirit of the American Revolution somberly assessing the scene and a soldier pushing back an enslaved woman who suckles her light-skinned child, perhaps the product of a rape by her master. Behind her stands a broken and neglected statue of Justice. (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Based on an 1859 painting by Louis Bribe, this Currier & Ives lithograph is entitled
John Brown. Meeting the slave-mother and her child on the steps of Charlestown jail on his mode to execution. A precursor of Thomas Hovenden’s 1884 painting on the embrace of this effect, it offers a darker, more symbolic delineation of the mythical event. To Dark-brown’s left, we see his elderly jailer, a wealthy slaveholder, and a militia fellow member dressed in an aristocratic uniform. To his correct stands the embodied spirit of the American Revolution somberly assessing the scene and a soldier pushing back an enslaved woman who suckles her lite-skinned child, perhaps the production of a rape by her chief. Behind her stands a broken and neglected statue of Justice. (Courtesy of Library of Congress)

A ane-folio biographical reading, assigned for homework, is used to structure class give-and-take of Brown’s upbringing, his early on efforts to address slavery in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the events leading up to his attack on the federal arsenal in Harper’due south Ferry. Emphasis is drawn to Brown’due south religious beliefs, his office in “Bleeding Kansas,” his raid into Missouri, and finally the ill-blighted Harper’south Ferry Raid. To firmly place Brown’due south actions inside the growing sectional mentality of the 1850s, I hash out with students the diverse exclusive reactions to Brown’s failed raid. With the contrasting images of Chocolate-brown fresh in their minds, I inform students that information technology is their task to determine how Brown should be memorialized historically.

To deepen their analysis of Brown, students are assigned one of several readings. Selected to represent contrasting interpretations of the human being and his deportment, these readings are intended to complicate students’ investigation. I traditionally select half-dozen sources from the list of “Further Readings” located at the end of the article, but I accept provided all of the potential sources on the online version of the lesson materials. Historiographically, the discussion of Brown has evolved from the hero-worship of James Redpath and Oswald Garrison Villard to critical analysis of his mental state as establish in the work of Bruce Catton and James C. Malin.

Students are organized and then that all of the six sources are represented within a group. Each pupil then presents the interpretation of John Brown expounded by their source. Next, to assist students in better understanding each perspective, I identify some relevant background information of the diverse authors and the time period in which they wrote. Information technology is important to ensure that students consider authorship, context, and subtext equally they derive data from a historical source. By confronting the milieu in which Malcolm X spoke about Brown, or how personal biography impacts Villard’s telling of the Brown story, students are forced to consider the sources non as words, but every bit a perspective informed by and reflecting the social, cultural, economic, and political background of the author and the fourth dimension period of its construction. Exposing the subtext of each source illuminates for students how John Dark-brown has been interpreted differently and empowers them to develop their own evidence-based interpretations of the by.

Since I teach a twoscore-5 minute grade flow, my lesson usually breaks in the midst of students sharing the prove provided past their sources. At times, I volition inquire students, as homework between day ane and two of the lesson, to consult one Northern and ane Southern editorial constitute at <http://history.furman.edu/editorials/meet.py>. These articles, and the context and subtext that influence their perspectives, help complicate, but besides deepen, our final give-and-take on how to commemorate John Brownish.

After sharing and taking notes, students are asked to consider how they feel John Brown and his deportment should be commemorated. Pocket-size group discussions of the topic somewhen become a large group contend. It is key to this phase of the lesson that students base their interpretations on the bear witness they have confronted. Problems of authorship and context add to our discussion near what John Brown means to the telling of American history and how his efforts should be memorialized.

At the conclusion of the lesson, students are asked to apply the show they accept examined to i of two assessments. The beginning option is to complete a historical marking that is to be placed at the entrance of the Harper’due south Ferry National Historic Park. The second is to select five items that would be displayed in the museum at the same park, explain why they were selected, and how these items help to describe John Brown and account for his deportment. These assessments place students in a position where they must adhere to the basic historical facts in social club to develop and defend an interpretation of the choice they made about commemorating John Brownish. Either iteration of the assessment requires students to identify what historical sources informed their decisions and how these sources influenced their choices.

Reflections and Conclusions

Students have a difficult time wrapping their minds around John Brown. Go figure, so do historians. Dark-brown has been the subject of hundreds of books, articles, documentaries, and other forms of historical estimation. My students, merely as historians, are fatigued into the complexities of Brown’s personality and the actions he takes over the course of his life.

When crafting their interpretations for the historical marker, students tend to run in one of iii directions. A large number take a middle of the route approach. Later on examining the multiple images and textual viewpoints of Brown, they stick to what they see equally the pertinent facts. Gone are incendiary adjectives or overt ideological typecasting of Dark-brown and his actions. In many ways, their markers are reminiscent of those produced past the National Park Service for many historical figures and events. The second third stress Brownish’s deportment in both Missouri and Harper’s Ferry, only do non address his beliefs. They reflect in their analysis that they are unwilling or unable to determine if he was crazy, obsessively focused, or only devoted to his crusade. The final third interpret and correspond Dark-brown equally a madman whose actions intentionally set the nation barreling towards civil discord.

Read:   What is the Role of Bureaucrats in Implementing Public Policy

What strikes me about this lesson is that students come up to see history equally alive and interpretive, rather than inert and handed downwardly from some primal authoritative body. Most instruments that measure student achievement in history would just ask students to select the response in a multiple choice question that correctly identifies the impact of Brownish’s actions. This is achieved inside the first 5 minutes of my lesson. Instead, it is the pastness of Brown that captures their interest and generates in-depth analysis, far beyond a discussion that establishes the basis for an answer to a multiple-choice question. The ability and depth of the discussion generated about Brown has been the impetus for me to apply this structure to other historical figures and events. Individuals such as Nat Turner, Daniel Shays, or Eugene Debs and events such as the Haymarket Affair, Busing in Boston, or the Tet Offensive become ripe for deep historical investigation once I realized that my students could do so. The depth of connexion my students brand with these watershed events and transitional figures far outweighs the fourth dimension information technology takes to plan or execute such investigations.

At the same time, the power of images to quickly connect students to a topic is also readily evident when I teach this lesson. The images empower students to go more than critical in their analysis of the textual sources they are asked to read. Considering the images are so stark, both in contrast to ane another as well as individually, students look for similar differences within the text. This transfer of critical reading from the more than comfortable image analysis to the more than difficult text is a key ingredient for students as they evolve their abilities to think historically. When students are taught to be aware that historical sources are not only repositories of information, but instead vehicles for communicating an author’s perspective on an individual, consequence, or historical idea, they are enabled to brainstorm crossing the span from the “unnatural act of thinking historically” towards a mindset more than parallel to that employed past historians.

Ultimately, what my students enjoy is the opportunity to examine the past rather than having it examined for them. The occasion to utilize historical thinking skills to determine how to commemorate the life and actions of one of the virtually divisive figures in American History empowers students to examine multiple sources of historical evidence, develop, revise, and defend bear witness-based interpretations, and grapple with primal questions of the past. Just every bit John Brown taught us that challenging the norms of American social club is a difficult endeavor, so likewise is challenging the style in which we approach teaching history.


J. Carelton Bell and David F. McCollum, “A Study of the Attainments of Pupils in United states History,”
Journal of Educational Psychology
viii (1917): 257–74; James P. Shaver, O.50. Davis, Jr., and Suzanne Helburn, “The Status of Social Studies Education: Impressions from Iii NSF Studies,”
Social Education
(February 1979): 150–53; James B. Schick, “What do Students Really Think of History?”
The History Teacher, 24 (May 1991): 331–42; The Nation’s Report Menu: U.S. History 2006. National Assessment of Educational Progress at grades 4, eight, and 12
(Washington, D.C.: National Heart for Instruction Statistics, United states of america Department of Education, 2006); Anne Neal and Jerry Martin,
Losing America’s Memory: Historical Illiteracy in the 21st Century
(Washington, D.C.: American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2000); Dale Whittington, “What Take 17-Year Olds Known in the Past?”
American Educational Research Journal
28 (Winter 1991): 759–eighty.


Bruce VanSledright.
The Challenge of Rethinking History Education: On Practices, Theories, and Policy
(New York: Routledge, 2010); Nikki Mandell and Bobbie Malone.
Thinking Similar a Historian: Rethinking History Instruction, A Framework to Enhance and Ameliorate Teaching and Learning
(Madison: Wisconsin Historical Order Printing, 2007); Keith Barton. “Research on Students’ Historical Thinking and Learning.”
AHA Perspectives Magazine, October 2004, nineteen–21.


Sam Wineburg,
Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past
(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001); Bruce VanSledright, Inorth Search of America’s Past: Learning to Read History in Elementary School
(New York: Teacher’due south College Press, 2002); Suzanne M. Donovan and John D. Bransford, eds.
How Students Learn: History in the Classroom
(Washington DC: The National Academies Press, 2005); Lendol Calder, “Uncoverage: Toward a Signature Pedagogy for the History Survey.”
Journal of American History, March 2006, 1358–1370.


David Reynolds,
John Brown, Abolitionist: The Human being Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil State of war, and Seeded Civil Rights
(New York: Vintage Books, 2005). Jonathan Earle,
John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry: A Brief History with Documents
(New York: Bedford/St. Martin’southward, 2008).


James C. Malin,
The John Brown Legend in Pictures, Kissing the Negro Baby,”
Kansas Historical Quarterly
8 (1939): 339–441, <www.kancoll.org/khq/1939/39_4_malin.htm.>.


Banks, Rusell, author of Cloudsplitter: A Novel



John Brown



New York

Modernistic Library


“Oral communication at the second rally of the Organization for Afro-American Unity, July 5, 1964” in
By Any Ways Necessary



New York

Pathfinder Press


To Purge This Country With Blood: A Biography of John Dark-brown




University of Massachusetts Printing


John Chocolate-brown, Abolitionist: The Homo Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights



New York

Vintage Books


History of the U.s.a. of America under the Constitution 1847–1861



Washington, D.C.

Westward.H. Morrison

,  .,

John Chocolate-brown, 1800–1859: A Biography Fifty Years Afterwards



New York


,  .,

John Brown Soldier of Fortune: A Critique



Lawrence, Kans

H.P. Wilson

,  .,

“John Brown–Hero and Martyr,” in
History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880



New York

G.P. Putnam’south Sons


“John Chocolate-brown’s Private State of war,” in Daniel Aaron, ed


America in Crunch: Fourteen Crucial Episodes in American History



New York


Which of the Following Statements is True of John Brown

Source: https://academic.oup.com/maghis/article/25/2/46/954261

Check Also

Which Idea Was Supported by Aristarchus Copernicus and Galileo

Which Idea Was Supported by Aristarchus Copernicus and Galileo. Planetary Move: The History of an …