United States History Question of the Day
Answer and Explanation


Key Antebellum Character


Marines attacking Harper's Ferry firehouse, 1859
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
Question 0110104:

Which controversial antebellum figure was described by Henry David Thoreau as "an angel of light" and by Frederick Douglass as one whose  "...zeal in the cause of my race was far greater than mine —it was as the burning sun to my taper light mine was bounded by time, his stretched away to the boundless shores of eternity. I could live for the slave, but he could die for him."

(A) Abraham Lincoln
(B) William Lloyd Garrison
(C) John Brown
(D) John C. Frémont
(E) Stephen Douglas

Answer: 

(C) John Brown

Explanation: Brown led an 1859 raid in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, attempting to start a slave insurrection throughout the South. The raid failed and Brown was quickly tried, convicted, and executed. His life and death took on symbolic value, however, for both the  North and the South in the next tumultuous decade.
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