The Narrative “Midnight Rising John Brown And The Raid That Sparked the Civil War” by Tony Horwitz portrays stories that occurred up until the civil war. Horwitz details a visit to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and the 1859 raid. Horwitz helps paint images in our mind of the dramatic events that occurred by apportioning this narrative “Midnight Rising” into three sections. In part one “The Road to Harpers Ferry” he recaps Brown’s early life as a child, his rise as a warrior in bleeding Kansas, and the preparation for his famous raid. In the next section of the reading: part two, “into Africa” he interprets the raid itself and the capture or death of the hero John Brown and his men at their fort at Harpers Ferry arsenal. In part three “They will Brown us all” covers Brown’s trial and execution and includes a valuation of his influence on his own and succeeding generations.
Brown was born into a religious protestant family in the 1800s, by the age of 12 brown dedicated himself to join the war. Brown was a daring individual the narrative details that he was given the death sentence, was charged with treachery, manslaughter, and had used conspiracy to lead a slave army but was, therefore, a believer in justice. Brown became involved in the abolitionist movement in 1835, he became very successful at showing us that he was a big believer in his plot to end slavery. He felt a strong urge toward the actions he was going to encounter during his famous raid, he needed support from these actions in physical, emotional, and financial ways. From my perspective, I believe that Horwitz does a great job at portraying how brown convinced many individuals to join him in the anti-slavery forces.
John Brown was a fellow with a strong ambition. He Dedicated his life to trying to end slavery. Through the narrative, Brown starts to portray the fugitive slave act in the 1850s. 1856 was the year when Brown and his boys came together in an agreement to join the antislavery forces. They tried to do everything they could to prevent Kansas from entering the union as a slave state. Not long after that Brown originated a scheme “The Harpers Ferry Raid” his plan was to set an attack with around 25-50 highly skilled men, as well as to supply horses to around 80 and 100 slaves and seizing as many guns that was possible from the armory, Brown had enlarged control to about a hundred to a thousand of guns and had cut telegraphic contact with the outside world because he wanted to stage a slave rebellion.
John Brown states “This part of Jefferson’s county Virginia, was fairly typical of the upcountry south, a mostly rural society with a few wealthy landowners, a large class of yeoman farmers, and 40 percent of its population enslaved. It was into this territory that brown, after securing the gun works and bridges in Harpers Ferry, dispatched a wagonload of men to begin real work of liberation”. Brown tried to start an armed slave uprising and tried to eliminate enslavement. From Browns perspective, he seen enslavement as cruel since he grew up in an antislavery household which gave him more of a purpose to want to try and free slaves. Brown saw enslavement as a sin against America's founding principles. Although his scheme was unsuccessful his raid later helped Abraham Lincoln to continue the end of enslavement. We can see that Brown was highly motivated and strongly determined to start the liberation process to try and free as many slaves as possible even if it meant burning down houses, the town or murdering individuals along the way. Brown’s main goal and purpose were to end enslavement for the better good of the people.
From my own perception, I believe that the Harpers Ferry Raid is an important event in history. The Raid on Harpers Ferry was an effort by armed abolitionist John Brown who had initiates a slave revolt year of 1859 by taking over the arsenal of the united states in Harpers Ferry Virginia many individuals should have some knowledge on this event and why it occurred. This narrative helps detail Brown’s main purpose to end enslavement. The Harpers Ferry Raid proved that enslavement was a big issue in the world and that many individuals were treated harshly.
In lecture, we covered the definition of a slave in the united states: “Black equals slaves and slaves equals black “which signified that a man of color is a slave. At the time, many individuals lived in a perceptual race-based slavery period. Enslavement can be detailed as being controlled by another higher authority figure one who was not of color. Slavery shaped the life of all Americans economically. At the time slaves were property and anything that the slaves possessed the slave-owners owned as well, therefore the slaves owned nothing not even their own bloodline, since they were already seen as slaves. Slaves weren’t seen as equals they were nothing more than a slave one who does the hard labor, cleans and follows directions, completes task that are given in a certain time phrase. However, Passive resistance is defined as a slave that would misunderstood directions on purpose one who would work slow and break implements. Many slaves pretended to not know what they were doing to work less. This was when owners threatened slaves when they’d misbehaved and would tell them if they disobeyed again then they would sell their mother or children to others and would never see them again. we spoke about slavery and the different views of it. “Liberty is equally as precious to a black man, as it is to a white one” I believe that this slogan is important because it signifies how important it is that we are all equal no matter the color or looks.
I grew to admire aspects of John Brown's character he had a great purpose for his rebellion and wanted to do nothing but good for the people. In my opinion, I believe he is seen as a hero by many individuals and he is admired for his effort and his purpose. A section from this book that I liked was how determined he was to try and end enslavement. He started his rebellion by gathering individuals and forming plots to free slaves from their owners nearby. “Morning October 17, when Washington went to his bedroom door at Bellaire in nightshirt and slippers. He was greeted by cook and several other men carrying guns. one held a pipe torch that lit the hallway; he brandished a large revolver and informed Washington, “you are our prisoner.” This was Aaron Stevens the toughest and most experienced of browns soldiers. Steven replied to Washington stating we have come here for the purpose of liberating all the slaves of the south.”
In conclusion, Horwitz does a great job at portraying the events that the hero John Brown was a part of. Brown was ready to back up his beliefs with violence any minute he could. He launched several violent raids either to free slaves or simply to frighten (or kill) those who expressed pro-slavery attitudes. This book details a critical time in history and the events that led up to the civil war. Horwitz details the perspective of many citizens throughout the area. However, if I were a historian or a professor I would strongly recommend individuals to read this book as it is eye-opening and significant in many ways, I believe that this narrative is an important historical book and should be read by many. From my view, I believe that the book “Midnight Rising” adds to our knowledge of American history by detailing the events that occurred up to the civil war and details many civilians that took a part of the raid or other events.