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|Brown didn't just want to free slaves. Read a little Webb Garrison concerning what exactly Brown's plans entailed. I'll give you a hint, the destruction of a nation. In Civil War Schemes and Plots Garrison discusses what John Brown's meeting in Chatham, Canada entailed. He planned to carve a new nation out of the heart of the existing nation by force and bar slavery from that new nation. Now while barring slavery may be admirable to us today, and certainly was admirable to the abolitionists during that day an age, what is admirable about the plan to destroy a nation to carry that plan out? This is not the same as the southern states seceding. despite pointing to Texas vs. White to claim secession was illegal, the fact is that there was absolutely nothing to say otherwise prior to the war. The Texas vs. White decision came after the war in 1869 and it only retroactively made that claim that secession was illegal prior to the war. Brown, an American citizen, was going to take the territory for his intended nation by force by deliberately attacking the US.