ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Greatest American That Every Lived: A real Life Hero?

Updated on August 14, 2016
Patrick Patrick profile image

Patrick has been working as a freelance writer for the past 3 years

Man of Action

The Name is Brown
The Name is Brown | Source

The Abolitionist

By definition, a hero is an individual who is "Admired or Idealized for their courage, extraordinary achievements and/or noble qualities". A hero will rise above all others and do what the majority will not or cannot. There are many words that we can use to describe a hero, but the one word that we can all agree should be in every description of a hero is courage- Courage to go against the norm, courage to stand out, to fight given wrongs and take decisive actions to achieve this goal.

A majority of those who have read about the institution of slavery in America also have some knowledge about the abolitionists and more so John Brown- Yes, "The American Badass" according to some article I read recently. Honestly, by the time I finished reading some material on this guy I had so much respect for him that I had for the Lincoln- Everyone's favorite president. That is not to say I don't respect Lincoln or anything; just that I found a real life Hero I respect more.

If there is one thing I have to understand about the history we were taught in school, it's that it was too damn shallow and meant to portray some people in a more positive light that they deserved. An example? Sure, i'll give one- Christopher Columbus. Oh how the teacher talked about how this great explorer discovered america and why he is so admired. Well, the teacher forgot to mention about the murders of some native people and the institutions of slavery that this "Great explorer" helped bring to life. There are so many others. Do you know about a guy named Nikola Tesla? I bet the first thing that comes to mind from the mention of his name is that he was some crazy inventor and electrical and mechanical engineer, right? Even worse, you don't know the guy, but you know all about Thomas Edison and other popular figures like him...

Anyways, I'm just trying to proceed with caution because I may soon come across some material highlighting why my new favorite Hero (John Brown) was not much a hero after all. Having read about this guy I came across some very interesting points. For instance, he was not just willing to sit around and wait for changes to come with time. Not at all, he went in to full action and successfully freed a number of slaves. He was opposed to slavery from a young age, and nothing would change his mind about it- not even if the majority of white people at the time felt the African Americans were inferior and the institution of slavery was important.

So why do I consider him, rather than the other blacks who fought against slavery at the time? Well, it’s simply because he was white. I am not trying to downplay the efforts of such individuals as Frederick Douglass. Not at all- God knows they did their part. But think about it for a minute: Going against what a majority of the whites in the South felt was the norm and their right. That is some serious stuff if I may say. Still not convinced? Well, the man also allowed his sons to get involved in the struggle. Now tell me that was not some crazy sacrifice.

There is this one passage in the Bible that goes something like this "Love your enemies and pray for them". Another one goes like this "And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same?"

There is nothing extraordinary about loving and helping your friends- Many people with friends and families will swing in to action whenever a need arises. It is helping your enemy and helping them in their time of need that sets a person apart. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THE BLACKS WERE JOHN BROWN’S ENEMY J J

Although he was a white man, John Brown also showed love and compassion for black, noting that slavery was an evil that many had refused to turn away from. He is eventually captured and hanged for treason, but one can't help but admire who he really was. I have read some material that appear to be really harsh towards him and his actions with some emphasizing that he resulted in the deaths of innocent people through his actions. While this may be true, or is actually true, it becomes evident that the lives of the white were more valued than those of the blacks at the time, and this is why they had a problem with him- He felt that all people's lives were valuable and all people were equal.

While Lincoln noted at one point that if he could unite the union without freeing a single slave he would have done it? This was not the case with John Brown. He wanted nothing to do with slavery and was ready to put his live on the line for his beliefs- This is why he was one of the true Americans in my opinion, and one of the greatest at that.

I can just imagine the amount of hatred white southerners had for him at the time; the death threats to him and his family for his stand- He was going up against the current towards justice- A real Hero. What I love and admire most about the man is that he was not doing in order to profit in anyway, but rather to bring about some justice in a land that claims to be one of the most democratic and just in the world.


Hero | Source

So, Hero or Not?

IF anything else, you have to agree that John Brown was what America is claimed to be about. Many have argued that America is all about democracy, justice, equality and respecting of all people- This was John Brown. Sure, he may have broken a number of laws to achieve this, but were those laws just? were they right? did they have to be broken and done away with for better laws that represent america? How many of us today would have put ourselves in his position?

I am not a very good historian, and therefore cannot say for sure that I know all about John Brown and his life. So please share some knowledge in the comment section :) fell free to point out where am wrong and I will really appreciate it.

Thank you

Share your opinions with us. Let me know what you think

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Patrick Patrick profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nairobi

      I understand Shyron. I do not believe in violence myself, but don't you think there are instances where it becomes necessary? Think of how the America gained its independence from Great Britain in 1776. Do you suppose that would have happened without violence?

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Hey Patrick, I know I read about John Brown when in school, but don't remember much.

      Anyone in my opinion who fights against any inhumanity, injustice and cruelty is a hero, but don't believe in violence.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)