December 2nd, 2009
Here is a response to the article Freedom's Martyr by David S. Reynold.
John Brown demonstrated great racial tolerance and made a "heroic effort to free four million enslaved blacks," but should president Obama pardon him? In his raid against Kansas pro-slavery citizens and in his attack on the federal arsenal he killed 12 civilians. These 12 lives were lost in vain. The differences between the North and the South had been obvious before the incident. The South had already talked about secession, and would have executed their original plans without Brown’s attack. The civil war was inevitable, and Lincoln still would have emancipated the slaves. Neither his raid nor his attack contributed to freeing the slaves after the war. Therefore, while Brown’s intentions were good, his actions were not worth the consequences of lost lives. John Brown does not deserve a presidential pardon because his actions did not cause any additional benefit to his cause.