John Brown was a devoted abolitionist who sought to ignite rebellion among the slaves.
His popularity began increasing in the late 1850s when he led attacks against pro-slavery settlers during the Bleeding Kansas conflicts.
In October 1859, Brown and his followers captured prominent citizens in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and took control of the federal armory and arsenal there. The plan was to arm rebellious slaves with the weapons they obtained and to help the slaves fight for their freedom.
Unfortunately, Brown was captured on October 18, imprisoned, tried and convicted of treason, and hanged on December 2, 1859.
Six days after his death, Brown's body was laid to its final resting place in front of his home in North Elba, NY. Today, that property is the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. The grounds are open year-round during daylight hours for hiking and cross-country skiing, while the house is open from 10AM - 5PM Wednesday - Monday from May thru October.
Before he died, John Brown made a final prophecy - that the crimes of white men against slaves "will never be purged away but with blood." This prediction would be realized in the Civil War, which began 16 months after Brown's passing. Some historians believe that Brown's uprising and its aftermath helped expedite the country's entrance into the Civil War.