Virginia v. John Brown (Slavery on Trial)

Greetings one and all!  Thank you so much to the fans and supporters of this fine program as we hit the milestone 50th episode.  Paul cannot thank you enough for the comments, the engagement, and the interest.  It keeps him going.

This episode is special to Paul.  He wanted to do something a little more robust for the occasion.  Here, we are going to be examining a truly remarkable trial.  It's interesting not just for the legal issues which came up, and many fascinating legal issues did arise, but moreso because in this trial, the Commonwealth of Virginia sought to try not only a man, but an idea, abolitionism.  Virginia was so incensed by the actions of one man John Brown, who raided Harper's Ferry in what was then still a part of Virginia, that they wanted to crush not only his physical body, but also the ideology which led him to do it.

In this episode, Paul looks at what happens when prosecutors attempt to put an idea on trial, as well as what drives a man to actions which he is reasonably certain will lead to his own execution.

John Brown was a prominent abolitionist, he came from a fairly wealthy and respectable family initially, but through sickness and the death of his wife, he fell on hard times.  Regardless, from a young age he worked tirelessly to end the scourge of slavery in the United States.  Disgusted by the inaction of the federal government on the issue, he elected to take matters into his own hands and spart a slave revolution which he hoped would lead to a moses-like exodus of slaves from southern states into a new paradise he would create for them.

To accomplish this, he and 21 other men raided the armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, with the intention to send the arms there to grassroots rebellions throughout the south.  His plan did not succeed in the literal sense, but in putting him on trial, Virginia made him a martyr and spread his message farther than Brown himself ever could have hoped.

Paul really hopes you enjoy this episode, if you do, please subscribe and leave a positive comment or send feedback.  Thank you all again for the continuing support!

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