Response to: “The 9/11 of 1859” (New York Times December 2, 2009)
Calling John Brown a “terrorist” is an insult to people fighting for rights everywhere. As Tony Horowitz (author of "The 9/11 of 1859") wrote, Brown is not like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. John Brown fought for a noble cause, the abolition of slavery. Unlike most Americans in his era, and many Americans today, Brown didn’t have a racist bone in his body. At first optimistic about making his current home state (Kansas) a free state, Brown attempted to grant statehood to Kansas peacefully and legally. However, after the corrupted election of 1856, with the “Border Ruffians” from Missouri, Brown had no choice but to take more drastic measures.
John Brown is not a terrorist, but a man we should all respect for standing up for his beliefs and not allowing anyone to get in his way. Because of Brown (and other tension-increasing events in the antebellum period), the Union and Confederacy fought in the Civil War, which, though it was our bloodiest war to that date, is an incredibly important piece of our country’s history. John Brown was the catalyst for the Civil War and the abolition of slavery (and indirectly, the Woman’s Suffrage Movement), and because of that, should be honored.