John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid Term Paper by Nicky

John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid
A look at the events surrounding John Brown and the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859.
# 128962 | 2,092 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Aug 19, 2010 in History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

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This paper looks at the background of John Brown, a dedicated abolitionist who had been determined to end slavery through any means and methods possible, including through violence, as he believed that the law did not matter when regarding the subject. In particular, the paper discusses how The Civil War is believed to have started as an aftermath of John Brown raiding the armory in Harpers Ferry on the 16th of October, 1959 with the intention of stealing weapons and holding the spot for him and his followers. The paper examines the events leading up to the raid, including the recruitment of the "Secret Six" that would financially support anti-slavery actions up until Brown's defeat, capture and eventual hanging.

From the Paper:

"Brown moved across the Potomac along with approximately 20 fully armed men with the intention of getting into Harper's Ferry in Virginia. Brown's men quickly overtook all the strategic points in the town with no serious resistance from the guards in the city. The men acted with great precision and broke into several houses taking the slave-holders as prisoners and their slaves as allies. To Brown's distress, the hundred of black people he expected to join him turned out to be just a dozen slaves brought in by Brown's patrol.
"As the word spread across the country, several military units had been alerted and sent to recover Harper's Ferry from the hands of the rebels. During the afternoon of the 17th, before the military could arrive, nearly half of Brown's forces, including two of his sons, had already been decimated by the angry militia of Virginia and Maryland. Astounded at his unsuccessful campaign, Brown retreated into a building with solid walls to hold the attackers. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Johnson, Andrew. "What John Brown Did In Kansas". United States House of Representatives, December 12 1859
  • Manisha Sinha, ""His Truth Is Marching On": John Brown and the Fight for Racial Justice," Civil War History 52.2 (2006), Questia, 18 Nov. 2008 <>.
  • McPherson, James. "Battle Cry of Freedom". New York: Ballantine Books, 1998.
  • Oates, Stephen. "Our Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, and the Civil War Era". Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1983.
  • "John Brown's Raid". Home of the American Civil War. 2003. 18 November, 2008.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (2010, August 19) Retrieved October 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid" 19 August 2010. Web. 20 October. 2021. <>