Saturday, June 25, 2011
Bishop L.J. Guillory Honors John Brown As "St. John Brown....He Was More Than Just A Martyr He Was A Saint
Freddie X. – A martyr is someone who is willing to die for what they believe in. I believe that John Brown was, at heart, a sincere martyr. Even though he performed some extreme acts, they were for a good cause. Mr. Brown believed that the slave community “was in a state of war”. He was willing to lose everything, including his life, just to make sure that his belief became true. Mr. Brown perfectly fits the definition of a martyr. He freely accepted death as it would only stir his cause even more. This proves his dedication to abolishing slavery. He believed that death was just a small hurdle that needed to be crossed in order to completely end slavery. Mr. Brown said that, “Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say let it be done.” This showed his willingness and acceptance of dying in order for his beliefs to continue on so that, in the end, slavery would be abolished.
Joey L. - I believe John Brown was a martyr. I think this because John Brown did what he did because he had such a profound belief. He believed with all of his heart that slavery was an injustice. He believed all were created equally and never doubted his beliefs. Many would consider John Brown a violent, messed up terrorist. But, he fought for a passion and never gave up, even though he stood nearly alone being one of the few whites who believed slavery was wrong—which it was. John Brown helped slaves to a free life. John Brown was brave and compassionate because of the things he did for slaves. Even though the raid he led was rather violent, it doesn’t make him a violent man. He let the train coming through go by without holding them hostage, and as soon as someone who he was trying to help was killed, and stopped and realized that what he was doing wasn’t right.He risked his own life for the freedom of others. John Brown was killed because of the things he did for slaves. This is why I consider John Brown a martyr.
Nick M. - I believe that John Brown was a martyr. I think this because he died for the cause he was fighting for. He was a devout Christian, and an active abolitionist. It is also said that he “practiced what he preached.” His main dream in life was to free all slaves and freed many by being active on the Underground Railroad. He believed that slavery was an abomination and risked his safety in order to free slaves. But, I believe that he did go too far with the Pottawatomie Massacre and was a little harsh to all pro-slavery people. In his speech before he was hung he said that he would “forfeit his life for the furtherance of the ends of justice” which means he would die to end slavery, making him a martyr.
Mariah O. – I Believe John Brown was a Martyr because, before he died this is what he said: “Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life, for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and MINGLE MY BLOOD FURTHER WITH THE BLOOD OF MY CHILDREN, and with the blood of millions in this Slave country, whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments — I say LET IT BE DONE.” I think John Brown wanted to die to help other people. Four of his sons said that John had not done any of the killing himself but had decided who would be spared. John Brown thought that his actions would encourage slave to rise up and help the fight for freedom. John Brown was tried and hanged along with six other of his men. John Brown was not a terrorist because he died for what he believed in.
Samuel L. - It is in my belief that John Brown is a martyr. Yes, there are some conflicts that did not have the need for aggression, like the Civil Rights Movement, but most conflicts need force. Some people are very stubborn in their ideologies and a lasting impression needs to be raised. War was fought over democracy in the US. War was fought to end Nazi reign in WWII. And this in itself is a small war that was fought for a group of people who could not speak for themselves against another group of people. Although the opposition would obviously think that John Brown was a terrorist, as his actions were rather terrorist-like. To the people who do not believe in unethical treatment of another human being, however, he would be a martyr who died for their cause. He even said himself, during the trial after the Harper’s Ferry raid, that quote, “I have not done wrong, but right.” This shows he is very devout in his ideology. A terrorist is someone who uses terror to battle against a cause. Yes he was that. But even more so was he a martyr. He truly believed in the equality of every human being. That’s why, in my opinion of course, I think he is a martyr.
Megana C. to Bryan,
I totally agree with what you said. A defintion is just the beginning of a story. The rest of the journey is your opinion. You should use the defintion to guide you like a teacher guides students. John Brown does sound like a terrorist but overall he really is man who was only trying to support his cause. John Brown was just a man who wanted everyone to have the same rights. Your reasons are good reasons to agree with.
Sean D. – OK yes, by Webster’s definition John Brown was a terrorist because he used fear and terror as a weapon. But he was definately a martyr too! he died for his cause, to oppose slavery which again, by definition, makes him a martyr. All terrorists who die in their terrorist acts are dieing for their cause. But i think he is a martyr because his cause was morrally right as opposed to say being socially accepted. Everyone (except those among us who are mean and stupid) knows that it doesnt matter what people look like. Appearence has nothing to do with someone treating someone else differently. The slaves did nothing to deserve what was done to them, and John Brown, in his acts, punished those who oppressed the slaves with death or injury. Think for a moment if their places were switched. Say the people were mistreating white men as opposed to black. The law would be liable to punish them. If John Brown had rode in and stopped them and freed them, he would be commended for his actions. He said, “If I had done what i did for white men, I would be given a metal, not hanged”. He is so right its not even funny. And THAT is why I think John Brown is a martyr.
Nicholas M. - A martyr and a terrorist are often thought of as very similar, but in reality they are actually very different. A martyr is someone who chooses to make sacrifices, even die for their cause. A martyr’s cause is good and just, in which violence is necessary at some points. A terrorist is someone who deliberately hurts innocent people to strengthen his cause. I say that John Brown was a martyr. I say this because he fought for the abolitionist’s cause, which was all about freeing the slaves, not about hurting the South. He devoted his life to freeing slaves like in Bleeding Kansas and Harper’s Ferry. He was violent when he killed pro-slavery men, but it wasn’t directed at the southern people and he only used violence to show that slavery was evil. Overall, John Brown was a good man; Abraham Lincoln said he had “great courage, rare unselfishness” and he treated all people with respect no matter what race they were. In the book, John Brown his Fight for Freedom, by John Hendrix, it said John Brown would even have dinner with black people. He was very religious, went to church, and believed God called him to end slavery. He accepted his death and didn’t go against his beliefs to escape being hung. A terrorist would deliberately use violence to make people afraid but John Brown was just trying to make people see what he believed in. Also, do we think of a comic book super hero as a terrorist? They use violence, but it is for a good cause so we think of them as good. That is exactly what John Brown was like. Another reason John Brown was a martyr was because he made sacrifices for his cause. He lost two of his sons fighting to free the slaves. Finally, John Brown used violence only for what he thought was right, he chose to die for what he thought was right and is remembered for fighting for the abolitionist cause. That is why I say that Brown is a martyr.
Sandy G. – ” I will raise a storm in this country that will not be stayed so long as there is a slave on its soil! ” These powerful words were once said by a brave man, John Brown. John Brown was an abolitionist, which slave owners and others thought his actions led him to be a terrorist, or the abolitionist who believed he was a martyr. In my opinion, I believe John Brown was a martyr because he suffered for religious beliefs and did what he believed was right. There are some views in his life were John Brown proves himself a martyr. “If i am dying for freedom, i couldn’t die for a better cause. I had rather die than be a slave.” This means that if the only way to stop slavery was to be sentenced to death, then so be it! This also shows how serious and brave he was about making a change. John Brown backed up his inspiring words with strong actions to prove slavery was wrong. An example of that would be when John Brown and his family went to church. He then noticed the entire back pew was filled with his black friends. John Brown was not happy, he knew that was racism and wrong in so many ways. Starting small to make a change, he proudly stood up and escorted his black friends to the front of the pew; ignoring the consequences. John Brown was a brave abolitionist who fought against slavery, proving himself a martyr. His actions, his words, and his way of trying to stop slavery was inspiring from my part, even though Brown’s plan didn’t work, i still believe suffering and dying for a noble cause is a big part to making a change!
Claudia C. - Back then, John Brown was a terrorist to the southerners, and a martyr to some of the abolitionists in the north. I’m sure his actions stirred up a lot of drama in the U.S. back then (and even these days on this blog)! However in the end, in my opinion, I think that John Brown was a very heroic martyr. I think that even though some of his actions may have been violent, his violence was only to help the injustices the African Americans suffered. A martyr is a person that died for what he or she believed in; that is exactly what John was. Although he killed some white people, in the long run he saved more African Americans. I say this because without John Brown and his statement- making actions, the banning of slavery may have been delayed, causing more slaves to die under the horrible conditions given them. And besides that point, John did help lead several African Americans to freedom. If John Brown is considered a terrorist that means every soldier that killed someone in the Civil War is a terrorist. After all, a terrorist is someone who uses violence for political purposes. You can almost consider John Brown as a soldier that fought to try to end slavery.
Summing up my post, I believe John Brown was a martyr. He fought for what he believed in, and died for it. Only few people would have the guts to lead a fight for what he or she believes in.
Harboring a fury that was fueled by profound religious devotion, John Brown carried his hatred of slavery into action, creating a legacy of bloodshed and violence that remains at once inspiring and appalling to this day.
Born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1800 into a deeply religious family, Brown spent much of his childhood in the anti-slavery stronghold of Ohio. Setting out in life as a businessman, he went from mild success to repeated failure, and from 1825 to 1855 moved his large family ten times, shifting his occupation from tanner to shepherd to farmer and working at whatever odd jobs he could find. Always a committed abolitionist, during these years he offered his homes as waystops on the Underground Railroad and insisted that his churches admit African-Americans as full members of their congregations.
In 1855, Brown followed five of his sons to Kansas when they appealed to him for help in fighting off the Missouri "border ruffians" who were gathering there to force slavery on the citizens of the territory. Brown arrived with a wagonload of weapons and the conviction that all free-soil Kansans stood in mortal peril. In 1856, Brown felt compelled to take action. During the night of May 24, he led a group which methodically killed five pro-slavery settlers living along Pottawotomie Creek, dragging the men out of their cabins and butchering them with swords.
This massacre shocked even Brown's fellow abolitionists and led to a string of violent deaths which gave rise to the name "Bleeding Kansas." Brown successfully fought off all attempts to apprehend him, and maintained publicly that his acts were not only justified, but directly ordered by God. Finally, in October, he left Kansas for a tour through the Northeast, where he was acclaimed for his militant opposition to slavery.
But by this time Brown had formulated an even more militant plan: he would incite a massive slave insurrection and thereby destroy the hated institution once and for all. To provide the funding for this ambitious undertaking, he turned to wealthy abolitionists who had grown frustrated by the failure of peaceful means and shared his view that it was time to wage war.
After returning to Kansas briefly in 1858, where he led a raiding party into Missouri which liberated eleven slaves, Brown moved in early 1859 to a rented farm near Harpers Ferry, Virginia, site of a federal arsenal with which Brown planned to arm the slaves he would inspire to rebellion. In October, he led twenty-one followers in a raid on Harpers Ferry and quickly occupied the federal arsenal, but was just as quickly trapped there by troops under the command of Robert E. Lee. The next morning, Lee's forces overran Brown's band of raiders, killing half of them, including two of Brown's sons.
Brown's ensuing trial for treason gave him the opportunity to vigorously condemn slavery and to again defend his actions as ordained by God. Before his hanging in December, popular support poured out from the North. The white South, however, was only more deeply convinced that remaining in the Union meant the end of slavery. Yet both sides could agree that, as he had in Kansas, John Brown had sharpened the issue dividing them into a weapon that would not be sheathed until it had drawn blood.