United States History Question of the Day
Answer and Explanation


Abolitionist John Brown
(Source: Wikimedia Commons--public domain)


Question 0926:

Name the individual who was described in the following ways by these observers for his actions in 1859:

Herman Melville--"the meteor of the war"
Henry David Thoreau--"an angel of light"
Frederick Douglass--"His zeal in the cause of freedom was infinitely superior to mine. Mine was as the taper light; his was as the burning sun."

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

Answer:

(B)  John Brown

Explanation:

Fanatical abolitionist John Brown led a raid on an arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia in 1859 in an attempt to start a slave uprising. The raid failed and Brown was captured and hanged. While many Southerners viewed him as an example of the irrational hatred of abolitionists, in the North he was seen by many as a martyr. Douglass wrote of Brown: "John Brown began the war that ended American slavery and made this a free Republic."

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