“I have now no doubt but that our seeming disaster: will ultimately result in the most glorious success.” On the one hand, Brown and his raid failed, because Brown’s intentions going into the raid were not satisfied. The fact that no slave “uprisings” occurred as a result of the raid is proof of Brown’s failure to lead slaves to rise up against their masters. On the other hand, I believe that Brown ultimately succeeded because his raid helped spark the Civil War. Though the war was tragic from beginning to end, it was the exact thing that Brown wanted his raid to start. Rather than focusing on Brown’s specific goal of capturing Harpers Ferry and using that to assess his success, it is more important to realize that Brown’s overarching objective was to end slavery, by whatever.
As to the actual raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown found very little success. Brown wanted to establish a free, biracial state in the Appalachian mountain chain. He believed that slaves would flee to this new state, and that other southern states would be forced to emancipate their slaves.
Brown succeeded because he helped heighten tensions between the North and the South, leading to the Civil War. In the South, nearly everyone had the same reaction: fear. This anxiety was increased in an article titled “The Harpers Ferry Conspiracy” published only a week after Brown’s raid. “Disguise it as we may, large portions of the North are our enemies…Unless a