Pellissippi State: Abolitionist John Brown topic of Feb. 27 talk

Joy-IngramJoy Ingram, an associate history professor at Pellissippi State Community College, delivers a presentation about white Civil War abolitionist John Brown Thursday, Feb. 27.

Part of the college’s Faculty Lecture Series, Ingram’s presentation, “John Brown: Maniacal Egoist or Moral Crusader?” begins at 2 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The event is free. The community is invited.

“The South was used to slave rebellions,” said Ingram, “but Brown’s uprising was the first time a person from the North had come to the South and committed acts of violence to try to free the slaves. Some historians say he sparked the Civil War.

“He’s been labeled crazy, a martyr, a religious zealot, a hero. I’m not going to try to put a label on him—I’ll leave that to the audience. But I will try to see what sets him apart from other abolitionists, what made him unique and what the end result of his actions was.”

Brown believed armed insurrection was the only way to end slavery in America. He and his followers instigated a number of conflicts in the South, culminating in an unsuccessful raid that he led on a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown was captured there and charged with treason, then hanged.

“Brown did not accomplish his plan to end slavery before his death,” said Ingram, “but his ideals lived on. The Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tension that eventually led to Southern secession and the Civil War.” The war began in 1861 and ended in 1865.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

To learn more about “John Brown” or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or