The Secret Six

Length: 621 words

The Secret Six by Edward J. Renehans is based on a story about six tycoons who carried out secret fundraising in aid of anti-slavery revolutionary activities of John Brown, an abolitionist who staged violent revolt to free slaves especially in South America. Though John Brown is portrayed as unsteady character, the Secret Six, who had also been involved in slave freedom struggle though separately, found him to be a worthy comrade to work with.

According to Pacheco, (Pacheco, 2002), the experiences of the six about the suffering of the slaves convinced them that support of Brown was a good despite his portrayal as an unscrupulous con man who tricked the Secret Six into funding his hare brained attempt to incite a slave revolt in the mountains of Virginia. Their involvements were based on the understanding that the funding would help in the promotion of freedom among men the same object as the fathers of the Revolution (Pacheco, 2002).

This argument is further illustrated by the phrase: “I would mortgage all I own to see the end of slavery. I would give every farthing to support any venture that promised success. For such a thing was the money coined, and for nothing less. ”

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The Secret Six and John Brown resorted to violent revolt to free slaves especially in South America due to their conviction that slavery; “the great national sin. ” would not die a peaceful death. Slavery is explained as having engulfed the whole country, North and South; a poisonous snake “with many a wiggling curl it wound along its way.

At length they met and twisting their obscene embrace, the twain became one monster… there was no North, no South, they were one poison. Violence was therefore seen as the only option to “combat the doctrines of natural liberty, human equality, and the social contract as taught by Locke and the Enlightenment, Jefferson and other misguided patriots ruined the splendid political edifice they erected by espousing dangerous abstractions- the crazy notions of liberty and equality they wrote onto the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Bill of Rights.

Due to their hate for slavery, the abolitionists believed that the Browns Harpers Ferry raid would actually materialize and enable them acquire weapons that would be used in slave uprising and also serve as a warning to the authorities on the need to grant equal freedom to all. This understanding couple d with Brown’s lies about his looting trigged generous donations and “ funneling guns to Brown and his ragged troop of Free Soil Party guerrillas in Kansas”, (sc. edu, 2002).

Such subversive activities according to the author were the order of the day as revealed by such quotes “…I was born in the little town where the fight and the bloodshed of the Revolution began… My grandfather drew the first sword in the Revolution, my fathers fired the first shot, the blood which flowed there was kindred to this which courses in my veins today…” Today, the opinion of many Americans will possibly be against the conspiracy of the abolitionists, led by John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, though some people especially the victims of slavery may see as the an option given the then prevailing circumstances.

Such sympathizers may cite quotes as:” You know I do not like fighting, but what could I do? ” (sc. edu, 2002). The majority’s opinion might be guided by the understanding that the Ferry raid was made “under color of any organizations intended to subvert the government of any of the States of the Union… the character and extent of such organization; and whether any citizens of the United States not present were implicated therein. Or accessory thereto, by contributions of money, arms, munitions, or otherwise”, (sc. edu, 2002).

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