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May 9, 1800
December 2, 1859 (aged 59)
Involvement in Bleeding Kansas; Raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia
Brown was born on May 9, 1800, in Torrington, Connecticut. At young age, Brown witnessed an enslaved African American boy being beaten, that moment created his own abolitionism. Brown experienced great financial difficulties from the 1820s to the 1850s.
Brown established the League of Gileadites, a group for protecting Black citizens from slave hunters. Brown believed in using violent means to end slavery. In 1856, became involved in the conflict, known as Pottawatomie massacre.
In 1858, Brown liberated a group of enslaved people from a Missouri. By early 1859, Brown was leading raids to free enslaved people. In 1859, Brown led 21 men on a raid of the federal armory of Harpers Ferry in Virginia, but they were defeated by military forces led by Robert E. Lee. Brown was captured, and on November 2 he was sentenced to death.
Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859, at the age of 59.
Six years after Brown’s death, slavery ultimately came to an end in the United States in 1865. Brown’s action helped to hasten the war that would bring emancipation.
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