By Jonathan Kemple
January 23, 1854 Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill in congress to separate the area into two jurisdictions, Nebraska to the north and Kansas to the south. This was referred to as Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. In 1855 after accommodating the escape of many slaves, John Brown and his five sons moved to the new territory of Kansas just after it had been opened.
John Brown was an radical abolitionist and believed that God called upon him to fight slavery, and to liberate the slaves in the south. Brown also believed in the violent rebel of the slavery system. He was given the wrong idea that a band of pro-slavery people in Lawrence Kansas had killed five men. Brown was set off to revenge. During the “Bleeding Kansas” conflicts, Brown and his followers went to a pro-slavery settlement pulled five men from their beds at night when they were sleeping and hacked off their hands with broadswords and then killed them, he justify his actions as the will of God. John Brown killed innocent people because he was given the wrong impression. The massacre triggered dozens of more incidents throughout Kansas, About 200 people died. Brown had to leave Kansas escaping execution and by doing that he left men and women behind that followed him. He soon became an anti-slavery icon and a respected man in the eyes of the Northern extremist and was quick to capitalize on his growing reputation.
By the early 1858, John Brown had succeeded in enlisting a small “army” of radical abolitionists whose mission was to start a rebellion. In 1859, he rented a farm near Harper’s Ferry, he collected weapons for his small army. His goal was to take control of the federal arsenal and to distribute weapons to the nearby people.
In the south his execution did little to allay spreading fears of slaves revolting and growing conviction that northern opponents of slavery would continue to stimulate insurrection. Brown’s raid did much to advance the coming civil war.