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Search > Learning Exercise Results > The Trial of John Brown

Learning Exercise: The Trial of John Brown

The Trial of John Brown
John Brown was one of the most controversial figures involved in key events in Kansas and Virginia prior to the Civil War. The Trial and death of John Brown presaged the forthcoming Civil War.
Course: United States History


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
August 03, 2009


Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL down to the bottom of the page. CLICK "Famous Trials." CLICK "The Trial of John Brown." READ "The Trial of John Brown" by Douglas Linder. Answer the following questions: 1. Who was John Brown?, 2. Why was John Brown in Harper's Ferry?, 3. Who were the "Secret Six?", 4. Summarize the trial report and testimony, 5. What the content of Brown's interview and addres to the Court, 6. Why did Henry David Thoreau plea for Captain John Brown?, 7. What was the content of Brown's Prison letter?, 8. Summarize the Lee and Senate Reports, 9. What was the Court's verdict?, 10. Did Brown receive a fair trial?, 11. What was Brown's fate?, 12. How did this case impact the slavery question and events leading to the Civil War?



  • College General Ed
  • College Lower Division
  • High School


Slavery; Virginia; John Brown; Harper's Ferry.



Learning Objectives

To present the facts surrounding John Brown's arrest, trial, and death from the incident at Harper's Ferry.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental Activity
  • Unsupervised



Technical Notes