John Brown (abolitionist), American abolitionist (1800–1859).
John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist leader. A religious man more than anything else, Brown believed he was "an instrument of God", raised up to strike the death blow to American slavery, a "sacred obligation". Brown felt that violence was necessary to end American slavery, since peaceful efforts had failed.Brown first gained national attention when he led anti-slavery volunteers and his own sons during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of the late 1850s, a state-level civil war over whether Kansas would enter the Union as a slave state or a free state. He was dissatisfied with abolitionist pacifism: "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" In May 1856, Brown and his sons killed five supporters of slavery in the Pottawatomie massacre, a response to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces.
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