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Article:John Brown (abolitionist)
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Historians agree John Brown played a major role in the start of the Civil War. David Potter (1976) said the emotional effect of Brown's raid was greater than the philosophical effect of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and that his raid revealed a deep division between North and South.<ref>David Potter, ''The Impending Crisis,'' pages 356–384</ref> Brown's actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist. Some writers, such as Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot, others, such as [[Stephen B. Oates]], regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." [[David S. Reynolds]] hails the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free." For Ken Chowder he is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism."<ref>David S. Reynolds, ''John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights'' (2005); Ken Chowder, "The Father of American Terrorism." ''American Heritage'' (2000) 51(1): 81+ online at [http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/2000/1/2000_1_81.shtml] and Stephen Oates quoted at [http://www.nps.gov/archive/hafe/jbrown/oates-text.htm]</ref> The song "[[John Brown's Body]]" became a [[Union (American Civil War)|Union]] marching song during the Civil War.
 
Historians agree John Brown played a major role in the start of the Civil War. David Potter (1976) said the emotional effect of Brown's raid was greater than the philosophical effect of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and that his raid revealed a deep division between North and South.<ref>David Potter, ''The Impending Crisis,'' pages 356–384</ref> Brown's actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist. Some writers, such as Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot, others, such as [[Stephen B. Oates]], regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." [[David S. Reynolds]] hails the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free." For Ken Chowder he is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism."<ref>David S. Reynolds, ''John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights'' (2005); Ken Chowder, "The Father of American Terrorism." ''American Heritage'' (2000) 51(1): 81+ online at [http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/2000/1/2000_1_81.shtml] and Stephen Oates quoted at [http://www.nps.gov/archive/hafe/jbrown/oates-text.htm]</ref> The song "[[John Brown's Body]]" became a [[Union (American Civil War)|Union]] marching song during the Civil War.
   
==Early years==
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==Early years yo
 
John Brown was born May 9, 1800, in [[Torrington, Connecticut]]. He was the fourth of the eight children of [[Owen Brown (college founder)|Owen Brown]] (February 16, 1771{{ndash}} May 8, 1856) and Ruth Mills (January 25, 1772{{ndash}} December 9, 1808) and grandson of Capt. John Brown (1728–1776).<ref name="grandfather">There has been some speculation that the grandfather was the same John Brown who was a [[Loyalist (American Revolution)|Loyalist]] during the [[American Revolution]] and spent time in jail with the notorious [[Claudius Smith]] (1736–1779) allegedly for stealing cattle, which he and Smith used to feed to the starving British troops. However this runs against the grain of the Brown family history as well as the record of the Humphrey family, to which the Browns were directly related (abolitionist John Brown's maternal grandmother was a Humphrey). Brown himself wrote in his 1857 autobiographical letter that both his and his first wife's grandfather were soldiers in the [[Continental Army]] [which he established in his, ''The Humphreys Family in America'' (1883)], which notes that abolitionist John Brown's grandfather, Capt. John Brown (born November 4, 1728) was a militia captain who died early in the American Revolution. His son, Owen Brown, the father of abolitionist John Brown, was a tanner and strict evangelical who hated slavery and taught his trade to his son.</ref>
 
John Brown was born May 9, 1800, in [[Torrington, Connecticut]]. He was the fourth of the eight children of [[Owen Brown (college founder)|Owen Brown]] (February 16, 1771{{ndash}} May 8, 1856) and Ruth Mills (January 25, 1772{{ndash}} December 9, 1808) and grandson of Capt. John Brown (1728–1776).<ref name="grandfather">There has been some speculation that the grandfather was the same John Brown who was a [[Loyalist (American Revolution)|Loyalist]] during the [[American Revolution]] and spent time in jail with the notorious [[Claudius Smith]] (1736–1779) allegedly for stealing cattle, which he and Smith used to feed to the starving British troops. However this runs against the grain of the Brown family history as well as the record of the Humphrey family, to which the Browns were directly related (abolitionist John Brown's maternal grandmother was a Humphrey). Brown himself wrote in his 1857 autobiographical letter that both his and his first wife's grandfather were soldiers in the [[Continental Army]] [which he established in his, ''The Humphreys Family in America'' (1883)], which notes that abolitionist John Brown's grandfather, Capt. John Brown (born November 4, 1728) was a militia captain who died early in the American Revolution. His son, Owen Brown, the father of abolitionist John Brown, was a tanner and strict evangelical who hated slavery and taught his trade to his son.</ref>
   
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