In October 1859, John Brown led an unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The raid shocked the nation and heightened sectional tensions in the build up to the Civil War. What did John Brown hope to accomplish? In this lesson, students examine a textbook account, an excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, an account from John Brown’s son, and a speech and letter by Brown to answer.
[Teacher Materials updated on 9/13/22.]
Image: Photograph of John Brown in 1859. From the Wikimedia Commons.