A Plea for Captain John Brown is an essay by Henry David Thoreau

A man does a brave and humane deed, and at once, on all sides,we hear people and parties declaring, "I didn't do it, norcountenance him to do it, in any conceivable way. It can't befairly inferred from my past career." I, for one, am not interestedto hear you define your position. I don't know that I ever was, orever shall be. I think it is mere egotism, or impertinent at thistime. Ye needn't take so much pains to wash your skirts of him. Nointelligent man will ever be convinced that he was any creature ofyours. He went and came, as he himself informs us, "under theauspices of John Brown and nobody else." The Republican party doesnot perceive how many his failure will make to vote more correctlythan they would have them. They have counted the votes ofPennsylvania & Co., but they have not correctly counted CaptainBrown's vote. He has taken the wind out of their sails,--the littlewind they had,--and they may as well lie to and repair.

A Plea for Captain John Brown - American Literature

While Brown was imprisoned and awaiting execution, Thoreau delivered an address in Concord on the man.
In the essay A Plea for Captain John Brown Thoreau showed his support for
John Brown and his fight for abolition.


A Plea for Captain John Brown, a Essay by Henry David Thoreau.

A Plea for Captain John Brown

Thoreau vents at the scores of who have voiced theirdispleasure and scorn for John Brown. The same people, Thoreausays, can't relate to Brown because of their concrete stances and"dead" existences; they are truly not living, only a handful of menhave lived. Thoreau also criticizes contemporary , who say theirprayers and then go to sleep aware of injustice but doing nothingto change it. Similarly, Thoreau states those who believe Brownthrew his life away and died as a fool, are fools. Brown gave hislife for justice, not for material gains, and was completely sane,perhaps more so than any other human being. Rebutting the argumentsbased on the small number of rebels, Thoreau responds "when werethe good and the brave ever in a majority?" Thoreau also points outthe irony of , a newspaper, labeling Brown's actions asmisguided.


A Plea for Captain John Brown - The Full Wiki

A Plea for Captain John Brown is an by . It is based on a speech Thoreau first delivered to anaudience at onOctober 30, 1859, two weeks after ’s raid on , andrepeated several times before Brown’s execution on December 2,1859. It was later published as a part of Echoes of Harper'sFerry in 1860.

John Brown’s Harpers Ferry - Facts & Summary - …

John Brown, a radical , and twenty-one other menseized the federal armory at Harper's Ferry, the holding place forapproximately 100,000 rifles and muskets, hoping to arm and create a violentrebellion against the south. However, after thirty-six hours therevolt was suppressed by federal forces led by andBrown was jailed. The raid resulted in thirteen deaths, twelverebels and one . After beingfound guilty of murder, treason, and inciting a slave insurrection,Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859. Although largely called afailure at the time, the raid and Brown's subsequent executionimpelled the .

Thoreau In "A Plea for Captain John Brown," Thoreau ..

A unique man, Thoreau proclaimed in admiration, Brown was highlymoral and humane. Independent, "under the auspices of John Brownand nobody else," and direct of speech, Brown instilled fear, whichhe attributed to a lack of cause, into large groups of men whosupported slavery. Incomparable to man, Thoreau likens Brown'sexecution– he states that he regards Brown as dead before hisactual death– to 'scrucifixion at the hands of with whom he compares theAmerican government.

A plea for captain john brown essay - Essay Academic Writing

First, as to his history. I will endeavor to omit, as much aspossible, what you have already read. I need not describe hisperson to you, for probably most of you have seen and will not soonforget him. I am told that his grandfather, John Brown, was anofficer in the Revolution; that he himself was born in Connecticutabout the beginning of this century, but early went with his fatherto Ohio. I heard him say that his father was a contractor whofurnished beef to the army there, in the war of 1812; that heaccompanied him to the camp, and assisted him in that employment,seeing a good deal of military life,--more, perhaps, than if he hadbeen a soldier; for he was often present at the councils of theofficers. Especially, he learned by experience how armies aresupplied and maintained in the field,--a work which, he observed,requires at least as much experience and skill as to lead them inbattle. He said that few persons had any conception of the cost,even the pecuniary cost, of firing a single bullet in war. He sawenough, at any rate, to disgust him with a military life; indeed,to excite in his a great abhorrence of it; so much so, that thoughhe was tempted by the offer of some petty office in the army, whenhe was about eighteen, he not only declined that, but he alsorefused to train when warned, and was fined for it. He thenresolved that he would never have anything to do with any war,unless it were a war for liberty.