John Brown was an abolitionist and insurrectionist. He was a strong opponent of slavery, and known to many as a radical. He assisted in helping slaves escape before moving with his family to Kansas. At that time, the Kansas-Nebraska Act had just been passed overruling the Missouri Compromise. Settlers became argumentative over whether or not their state should have slavery, and many riots erupted. John Brown eagerly joined the anti-slavery side, declaring himself a “captain” in ridding the area of slavery. At this time, John Brown led a raid against pro-slavery settlers that ended in death and bloodshed. Northern extremists looked to Brown as a hero. Brown decided to form an “army” of other insurrectionists whose mission it would be to rid the country of slavery.


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