On the night of May 24th, 1856, radical abolitionist John Brown and seven of his followers crept along the banks of Kansas’s Pottawatomie Creek and stormed a proslavery settlement. They dragged five men from their cabins and killed them in cold blood.
Soon, Brown’s name was splashed across the nation’s newspapers, making him a lightning rod for controversy. He would exploit his notoriety to escalate his crusade against slavery, taking his guerrilla war to a new theater: the slaveholding South.
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