It became on may 21, 1856, that a proslavery military, hauling artillery and commanded via U.S. Senator David Rice Atchison of Missouri, laid waste to the antislavery bastion of Lawrence, Kans. “Boys, that is the happiest day of my life,” Atchison declared as his guys organized to educate “the damned abolitionists a Southern lesson that they’ll recall till the day they die.”
One of those abolitionists turned into John Brown, who attempted to return to the resource of Lawrence but arrived too late. 3 days later, as Brown contemplated what to do next, a messenger arrived with news from far-off Washington: an antislavery leader, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, had been clubbed almost to demise through South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks at the same time as sitting at his table within the Senate chamber after delivering a fiery speech titled “The Crime against Kansas.” Brown went “loopy — crazy” on the news, his son suggested.