Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!

— John Brown

The most colorful John Brown quotes that will inspire your inner self

I am quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think vainly, flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done.


Be mild with the mild, shrewd with the crafty, confiding to the honest, rough to the ruffian, and a thunderbolt to the liar. But in all this, never be unmindful of your own dignity.


I want you to understand that I respect the rights of the poorest and weakest of colored people, oppressed by the slave system, just as much as I do those of the most wealthy and powerful. That is the idea that has moved me, and that alone.


Had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends...every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.


Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.


No man, with a man's heart in him, gets far on his way without some bitter, soul-searching disappointment. - Happy he who is brave enough to push on another stage of the journey, and rest where there are "living springs of water, and three-score and ten palms."


Symptoms are the body's mother tongue; signs are in a foreign language.


The same eye cannot both look up to heaven and down to earth.


I think every family should have a dog;

it is like having a perpetual baby; it is the plaything and crony of the whole house. It keeps them all young.


There is a shrine in the temple of age, where lie forever embalmed the memories of such as have deserved well of their country and their race.


Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write, As fopplings grin to show their teeth are white.


Now let us thank th' eternal power, convinced That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction: That oft the cloud that wraps the present hour Serves but to brighten all our future days.


About John Brown

Quotes 30 sayings
Profession Abolitionist
Birthday May 9, 1800

I was shot down by a fifth ball, which struck me squarely in the face, and passed out.


I am gaining in health slowly, and am quite cheerful in view of my approaching end, - being fully persuaded that I am worth inconceivably more to hang than any other purpose.


...what we need is action - action!


I cannot remember a night so dark as to have hindered the coming day.


Whereas, Slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States is none other than a most barbarous, unprovoked, and unjustifiable War of one portion of its citizens upon another portion; the only conditions of which are perpetual imprisonment, and hopeless servitude or absolute extermination; in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence.


These men are all talk; What is needed is action - action!


I never wanted to fight against the Union, but could not turn my back on Virginia.


So far as I ever observed God's dealings with my soul, the flights of preachers sometimes entertained me, but it was Scripture expressions which did penetrate my heart, and in a way peculiar to themselves.


I will answer anything I can with honor, but not about others.


I am worth inconceivably more to hang than for any other purpose.


Caution, Sir! I am eternally tired of hearing that word caution.

It is nothing but the word of cowardice!


The intent and not the deed Is in our power; and, therefore, who dares greatly Does greatly.


The United States is a place where the men govern, but the women rule.


It is not a case we are treating; it is a living, palpitating, alas, too often suffering fellow creature.


I have been whipped, as the saying is, but I am sure I can recover all the lost capital occasioned by that disaster; by only hanging a few moments by the neck; and I feel quite determined to make the utmost possible out of a defeat.


I don't think the people of the slave states will ever consider the subject of slavery in its true light till some other argument is resorted to other than moral persuasion.


The angels are ministering spirits; they are not governing spirits.