John Brown and the Election of 1860

Review Questions

Why did John Brown attack the armory at Harpers Ferry?

  1. to seize weapons to distribute to slaves for a massive uprising
  2. to hold as a military base against proslavery forces
  3. in revenge after the sacking of Lawrence
  4. to prevent southern states from seceding



Which of the following did not contribute to Lincoln’s victory in the election of 1860?

  1. the split between northern and southern democrats
  2. the defeat of the Whig party
  3. Lincoln’s improved national standing after his senatorial debates with Stephen Douglas
  4. the Constitutional Union party’s further splintering the vote



What were southerners’ and northerners’ views of John Brown?


Antislavery northerners tended to view Brown as a martyr for the antislavery cause; some saw in him a Christ-like figure who died for his beliefs. Southerners, for their part, considered Brown a terrorist. They felt threatened by northerners’ deification of Brown and worried about the potential for other, similar armed insurrections.