Why Famous: John Brown believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States.
Brown was at the forefront of a number of incidents during the Bleeding Kansas crisis in 1856. In 1859 he led an attack on the armory at Harper's Ferry after which he was captured, tried and hung.
Brown's actions and raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia are regarded as major causal factors in the secession of the Southern States a year after his death and the move towards the civil war between the North and South.
- 1856-05-24 Pottawatomie Massacre: John Brown and abolitionist settlers kill five pro-slavery settlers in Franklin County, Kansas
- 1858-04-14 Abolitionist John Brown meets Harriet Tubman at a Constitutional Convention convened in Chatham, Ontario
- 1858-05-08 John Brown holds antislavery convention
- 1859-10-16 Abolitionist John Brown leads 21 men on a raid of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia
- 1859-11-02 American abolitionist John Brown found guilty of murder, inciting slaves to revolt, and treason against the Virginia Territory during his raid of Harpers Ferry Armory, and sentenced to hang
- 1859-12-02 Abolitionist John Brown hanged for murder, treason, and conspiring slaves to revolt at Charles Town, Virginia