American abolitionist John Brown was hanged at Charles Town, Virginia, after leading a raid on the federal arsenal at nearby Harpers Ferry. Brown planned to wage guerrilla warfare in an effort to end slavery. In 1858 he visited Chatham, Canada West, looking to recruit blacks who fled north, but many found him too radical. Still, his death left an impression on much of Canada. Some newspapers proclaimed him a “hero.”

Date: 
Friday, December 2, 1859
Month: 
12
Day: 
02