Life Of John Brown

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Tony Horwitz briefly summarizes the main events that took place in John Brown's early life. He was born in Connecticut in 1800 and later he moved with his family to Ohio. Brown was a vivacious boy but at a young age he quickly learned a lesson about injustice. When he was only 12 years old, Brown observed a slave being beaten with household tools. After he witnessed the incident he became filled with anger which caused him to swear "eternal war with slavery." However, Brown was not an instinctively violent person. He refused to serve in the military once because it went against his morals. Later he focused on devoting himself to his very large family. John Brown had eight children with his first wife. She died in 1832. He then had 13 children more with his second wife. He was a very strict father but loving he loved his kids. Brown was also a skilled farmer, though he didn’t have much success in his other endeavors. He was a livestock breeder, tanner and real-estate speculator. His business failures were due to a couple of factors. He was a very stubborn man and the economy was unpredictable. His commitment to the antislavery cause was another reason his businesses didn’t really succeed. In the 1830s, he attempted to educate blacks. He was a participant in the Underground Railroad for many years. He eventually decided to settle in North Elba, a village that was located in New York, in the midst of a colony of free blacks. Brown came from a very old-school Calvinist background. He is obsessed with sin. Slavery is the worst sin of the nation in this period of time and he feels this certainty that America’s founding principles of equality and freedom can only be fulfilled through the destruction of the institution of slavery. He is ... ... middle of paper ... ...orwitz corrects a few facts throughout the story. He adds some human anecdotes, a bit of local history, and is sure to include some details such as the degree to which the multitude of hanged bodies shuddered after the noose had finished its work. But much of his book is a gloss of what is already known As for the Mr. John Brown himself, Tony Horwitz sees him too much as the grim old man from some long-ago histories: bold, murderous, sly, arrogant, fanatical, and possibly insane. Brown is certainly an overly obsessive person. He has this militaristic quality about him. He also has some very extravagant dreams, almost to the point at times where one could question whether he was delusional or not. He definitely wasn’t insane in a medical or official sense. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and exactly what he was doing at this time. And in the end, he achieved it.
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