America in the 1850s

The Emergence of John Brown

Why had John Brown taken so long to get around to his project?

It was not from a lack of self-confidence or belief. Brown found it nearly impossible to launch anything during the early 1850s. Until he had the assistance, or at least moral support, of some prominent abolitionist such as Douglass or perhaps William Lloyd Garrison, he could not be heard on a larger stage. No such person came forward to assist Brown, and it was the trouble in Kansas, rather than anything special in Northern Virginia, that allowed him to take action. In the fall of 1855, Brown set out for the Kansas territory, taking several of his sons and a wagonload of repeating rifles with him.


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