John Brown–from business failure to terrorist and media hero–part two

by Al Benson Jr.

I have also read, over the years, some comments by writers who actually considered people like John Brown and Thaddeus Stevens to be Calvinists! Where they came up with such flights of fancy I have no idea–maybe from the same people who blithely inform us that Abraham Lincoln was a Bible-believing Christian. One is as equally ludicrous as the other. But that seems to be the trend today. Demonize Christian Southerners and try to make agnostic and apostate Northerners look like Christian crusaders.

Awhile back, historian David S. Reynolds wrote a book called John Brown–Abolitionist.. According to writer Michael Tomasky tells us that: “David S. Reynolds, in contrast, asserts that Brown was a hero. He reminds us that Emerson, Thoreau and Douglas were among Brown’s greatest champions, and that Brown’s historical stock has tended to rise during more progressive eras. He thinks Brown should be posthumously pardoned.” In other words, during more “porgressive” (socialist) times, Brown’s reputation seems to get better. But I guess, with some “progressives” (socialists) a terrorist is not a terrorist unless they say he is. With such mentalities, a member of the Tea Party faction carrying a sign at a peaceful demonstration would be considered a terrorist while someone like Che Guevara or Obama’s friend Bill Ayres of the Weather Underground would be considered  glorious freedom fighters, worthy of emulation. You can see why John Brown looks so much better when socialists are running the country.

As far as Emerson and Thoreau supporting John Brown, were we to do a little homework we would come up with the fact that both of these mental giants were Christ-denying Unitarians–quite typical of those that supported Brown.

Tomasky ends his little diatribe with “…while the terrorist label applies in the technical sense, I don’t think it holds in any moral sense. No one today doubts that his cause was right.” In other words, its okay to do something horrendously wrong, like hacking people to death with swords, provided you do it for the right reasons. So the end justifies the means. Sound Marxist thinking!

Furnas also noted of Brown that: “He put up with his sons imitating his prejudice against organized religion to the point of agnosticism…” Otto Scott noted on page 250 of his book that: “…John Brown had been described as a modern Puritan; a man of firm biblical faith, clean-living and high-minded. A Rev. D. H. King sought him out to try to ascertain exactly where he was coming from, which turned out to be not an easy task.” King stated: “I tried to get at his theology…but I could never force him down to dry sober talk on what he thought of the moral features of things in general…For him there was only one wrong, and that was slavery…If any great obstacle stands in the way, you may properly break all of the Decalogue to get rid of it.” Again, the end justifies the means. If Christianity gets in your way, then don’t hesitate to break all of its tenets to accomplish your ends. This belief was most prevalent among abolitionists and their views “bore very little resemblance to Christianity.” So much for Brown’s “Puritan” mindset. Author Tony Horwitz noted that Brown was a terrorist, but then turned around and likened him to a “bearded fundamentalist.” Really??? Pardon me if I disagree here–bearded terrorist yes–bearded fundamentalist no. Let’s don’t try to tar the Fundamentalists with John Brown’s brush. That’s grossly unfair to them. Otto Scott’s comments about Brown’s theology, or lack thereof, show that Horwitz was off base on this point.

To be continued.

John Brown–from business failure to terrorist and media hero

by Al Benson Jr.

Much has been written about John Brown of Harpers Ferry, Virginia fame over the years. And much of it is historical and political goop. In the North he has been portrayed as everything from slavery emancipation messiah to national hero. In parts of eastern Kansas, to this day, the unwritten commandment is “Thou shalt not take the name of John Brown in vain.” I have never forgotten a “conversation” I had with a woman in eastern Kansas several years ago as she tried to inform me that John Brown was a hero while Jeb Stuart was a terrorist. Yes, folks, that’s the way it is in parts of eastern Kansas even today. You talk about skewed history! Why do you suppose that Obama went to Osawatomie, Kansas to give that speech awhile back? That’s John Brown territory and Obama knows it. He was identifying with the crowd that thinks John Brown was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In actuality, John Brown was never much good at much of anything until he tried his hand at terrorism–and even in that occupation he had lots of help and support from other would-be Yankee terrorists who wanted him to do their dirty work so their hands would stay clean–and even that didn’t quite work out.

Historian Otto Scott, back in the 1970s, wrote a biography of John Brown which was reprinted in 1987 by the Foundation for American Education under the title The Secret Six–The Fool As Martyr. Scott detailed much of Brown’s life and took note of his inept business practices. On page 20 of the book he observed: “By 1851 an avalanche of lawsuits had fallen on Brown and his partner, Colonel Perkins, and Brown had to move his family back to Akron, Ohio, where he remained dependent upon his partner’s kindness and support. Perkins was his only defense against an army of creditors.

For the next several years Brown was either in court or preparing to appear, making depositions or listening to them, traveling to one judicial arena or another, arguing or hearing arguments. How he escaped punishment for his incredibly inept commercial dealings, his numerous violations of contract, and his cavalier handling of other men’s money and goods remains a mystery.” I don’t know if you could categorize Brown as an outright crook, but at the least, he was “sharp” in his business practices.

J. C. Furnas in The Road to Harpers Ferry  noted much the same thing in regard to business that Otto Scott did. At one point Brown operated a tannery in Pennsylvania, but that business did not suit him. Furnas observed that” “Tanning in Pennsylvania did not suit. His schemes seldom did. He returned to Ohio to farm and speculate in land. He and other Browns contested suits over land titles…He and two of his sons once spent some days in jail–mere formality maybe–for violently resisting a foreclosure. As often happened to his contemporaries to, he fell into bankruptcy with some flavor of dishonesty.” This on page 11 of Furnas’ book. I’ve known people over the years that followed every “get rich quick” scheme that came down the pike. None of them ever panned out and it seems as if Brown was almost in that category.

To be continued.

The Reddest of the Red

By Al Benson Jr.

The title of this article is what August von Willich was called by many in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was the editor of a radical, far-left German newspaper. He had settled in this country in 1853 after fleeing Europe because of his participation in the 1848 socialist revolutions there.

He was also called “the communist with a heart.” If you want to know what a “communist with a heart” looks like, hunt up an old photo of “Uncle Joe” Stalin or that gentle old “agrarian reformer” Mao Tse Tung and read about the millions they slaughtered. That’s “communism with a heart.”

Willich was an officer in the Prussian army when he chanced to meet that beneficent reformer, Karl Marx. Shortly after that Willich became what one web site called a “Marxian socialist.” Another web site listed him as a “convinced republican.” Seems a bit contradictory until you understand how the term “republican” is used by Communists. By Communist definition a republic is “a collectivist, totalitarian state dependent on and subservient to the Soviet Union, Red China, or other Communist power center.” Now admittedly that is a modern definition given the countries mentioned, but it fits. This is how Communists define a “republican”—someone subservient to their wishes. If you want to check as to where this definition comes from check out and see if you can find a book called A Communese-English Dictionary written by Professor Roy Colby.

When the War of Northern Aggression broke out Willich, who had dropped the “von” from his name, rushed to join the Union cause. In 1861 he was made colonel of the 32nd Indiana—a German-American regiment.

Like most leftists, Willich had a rather condescending view of Americans. He once stated that “…in this republic a beginning is possible only through the German element…” In other words, this country would not make it without German socialist influence and help and Willich and his Forty-eighter friends who had fled their own countries after their revolutions had failed were now here and ready to help in the formation of a socialist America.

The book Lincoln’s Marxists (Pelican Publishing, Gretna, Louisiana) talks about Willich on page 180 where it states: “Willich was impatient with Americans because they did not share his ‘communist’ vision for their country and for their future. It is not uncommon for radicals, especially those on the left, to be impatient with those who do not share their ideology.”

Willich was a dogmatic socialist who “did not hesitate to sermonize on the merits of the communist/socialist system.” The book Melting Pot Soldiers by William L. Burton noted that Willich lectured his soldiers about the virtues of socialism. This in the United States in the 1860s—Union soldiers being prepped on the greatness of socialism. You can only wonder, if Willich was doing this, how many other socialist or communist Forty-eighter officers were doing this or something similar? The “history” books are silent regarding any of this.

If the Forty-eighter socialists were the backbone of the early Union army, as Friedrich Engels has contended  how much socialist indoctrination went on at that time that we are never told about—and what effect did some of that have in the army later on? If you want to know you will have to dig, because the historians—so called, are not about to tell you.

It would seem that this country has been on the road to communism for much longer than anyone wants to believe.

Forty-eighter Mindset: “…cause a bloodbath to destroy the party of barbarism.”

By Al Benson Jr.

The Forty-eighter socialist and communist revolutionaries from Europe that came to this country to join the forces in the North that hoped to have a hand in destroying Christianity in the South in the 1850s were, much like our “news” media, utterly devoted to the agenda they had laid out, or that had been laid out for them. Their thinking was anti-religious, anti-Christian, and they never departed one iota from that worldview.

Therefore, anything that would help to tear down Christian civilization was acceptable. These folks were going to replace God with the sovereign state, ruled by “the will of the people.” Trouble was they never really defined who “the people” were that would run their new state. History has shown us that “the people” were really themselves and their friends—seeking power and the prerequisites of god-ship, that all men might worship the state (beast).

Those few that deal with the Forty-eighters almost never deal with them in that light. They are portrayed as the purveyors of “freedom and democracy” by those that hope most of us don’t bother to do the homework to find out what their real agenda is.

Let’s take, for example, Forty-eighter Karl Heinzen. The people who have written about him do it in mostly gentle terms. He has been described as a “journalist” and one man even went so far as to describe him as a “radical activist.” That’s okay, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t begin to plumb the depths of the real Karl Heinzen. Herr Heinzen, before he came to America to aid Mr. Lincoln in the “preservation” of the Union by the power of the bayonet was a follower of the European anarchist, Gracchus Babeuf. In Lincoln’s Marxists, on page 189 it is noted that: Babeuf wrote an article in which he advocated the use of murder to promote what he called ‘democracy.’ Not to be outdone (Karl) Heinzen declared, ‘If you have to blow up half a continent and cause a bloodbath to destroy the party of barbarism, you should have no scruples of conscience. Anyone who would not joyously sacrifice his life for the satisfaction of exterminating a million barbarians is not a true republican.”

Think a minute about that statement. That statement is the heart and soul of the Forty-either theology or worldview. It tells you where they were really at, in spite of all those who try to tell you they were all about “freedom and democracy.” Well, maybe they were, but it depends on how you define freedom and democracy. and they didn’t define them like we do.

With all the research I have done regarding the Forty-eighters, I have come to the conclusion that they were, in the main, not very nice people. Their theology permitted no competing views and you have to admit, if you take Heinzen seriously, you find that his solution to competing views and theologies was to create a bloodbath in which all the competition (Christianity) was annihilated in the name of “exterminating barbarians.”

These were the type of people Mr. Lincoln was glad to have in his armies as they wielded the “terrible swift sword” in the Confederate States. Don’t be naïve enough to think that Lincoln didn’t know where these people were coming from. He knew—because in their anti-Christian worldview, he saw a reflection of his own worldview.
People need to begin to try to get a real grasp of what the War Between the States was all about—not slavery, but class struggle—and the friends of Marx and Lincoln won that War “for the people” but not for the people we were taught to think had benefited from it. History, if we can discern it, has shown us that the real winners were the disciples of centralization and the price everyone else paid was their God-given liberty.