Davis S. Reynolds hails him as the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights". (Reynolds) This sounds like a man that is a hero. However, probably the most telling phrase and truth of the matter comes from Ken Chowder, who states Brown is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism. (Chowder) Brown actually was an unsuccessful man who failed at most everything he attempted. He could barely provide support for his family at times. Some believe this lead to his demise. Brown once said "a society that would embrace slavery, was sick beyond its own cure." (Gilbert)
John Brown was by all accounts a man of deep spiritual beliefs and convictions. He was responsible for the deaths and injury to many though history books portray him as a hero. Some writers use words such as martyr or revolutionary abolitionist but the fact remains the same. By modern day standards, John Brown, was nothing more than a home-grown terrorist. The dictionary defines terrorism as the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. John Brown was indeed a terrorist.(Renehan)
John Brown's attack on the issue of slavery in the 1850's is seen as the beginnings of the civil war. Despite his actions, his motives were of good intent. He wanted to rid the nation of slavery, thus creating a society where all men were equal regardless of color. Unfortunately, Brown was impatient and he began to push back against the political establishment. Brown began to see himself as a savior to men and claimed that he was acting on God's behalf. In the end, Brown's good deeds were nothing more than terroristic acts of violence.