December Slave Owners”, by John Burnham, Burnham

December of 1865 slavery was abolished in the United States, but the two and a half centuries before, slavery was a large feuded matter in the states.

Black or white, people fought for the equal treatment for African Americans. In articles written by John Burnham and Ken Chowder, they tell the stories and fights for equal rights of African Americans in the United States. Slavery was a matter that needed to be fought for since it was morally wrong because it went against the rights of all human beings, so violent or controversial, people fought for the equal treatment of the African American race. In the article “John Brown: Father of American Terrorism”, by Ken Chowder, Chowder tells the story of John Brown, an American abolitionist who believed in and advocated armed insurrection as the only way to overthrow the slavery in the United States. He explains specific times of Brown’s murders, giving the reader a visual of the horrid acts Brown and his men did. After each story of Browns barbic ways, Chowder conflicts the readers opinion by justifying Brown’s actions with reason.

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Surprisingly, he almost explains Brown as an American hero or idol. In the end though, Chowder comes to the conclusion that Brown’s violent movement to abolish slavery cannot be justified with any reason. Even though Brown’s end goal was positive, and at the time his movement was somewhat effective, the brutal bloodshed of people is not morally or legally acceptable. But, John Brown did make a statement; Brown’s actions as an abolitionist makes him a very controversial figure. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary, but also vilified as a madman. In the article “Black Slave Owners”, by John Burnham, Burnham discusses the intentions and methods that African American slave owners had for their slaves.

They tend to be more forgiving and just because their slaves are the same race as them.The article is also filled with examples and statements about the reasoning and purpose that African American people enslave their own race. He goes on to explain that many of the slave owners did not normally purchase slaves, but would “inherit” them from neighbors or family members; trying to justify the enslavement of their own. Even though some African American people had slaves, some knew it was morally wrong and would let the slave go before ever enslaving them.  He concludes by stating that there is no way to justify enslavement of a person even if they have the same race and background.   However, Burnham states that since white people had the right and freedom to have slaves that free black people should have that same right too. Since a free black man and a free white man should have equal rights, why can’t a free black man own his own slaves? Even though African Americans believe enslavement is morally wrong, they continue to enslave their own race, being hypocritical against a free white man. To conclude, both articles prove that slavery is morally wrong and needs to be abolished.

In Chowder’s article about John Brown, it discusses Brown’s brutal fight, literally, for equal treatment. In Burnham’s article about black slave owners, he tells the sides and testimonies of those owners and how they treated and freed their slaves knowing it was wrong. Even though both articles are impactful pieces, Chowder’s article was more impactful because it told the story of a white abolitionist whose late life was absorbed by the soul purpose of fighting for the abolition of slavery. The article was vivid and created a connection and story that showed the reader the true passion of Brown.


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