John Brown was a militant abolitionist who used violent means to fight to end slavery.
John Brown was born in 1800. In 1856, John Brown, along with other abolitionists, attempted to stop the spread of slavery to Kansas. The battles fought between pro- and anti-slavery forces became known as Bloody Kansas, and would be a precursor to the Civil War.
Reverend Nathaniel Cole, while attempting to connect with Bohannon, admitted he rode alongside John Brown during Bloody Kansas. He fought alongside him, and played a role in the Pottawatomie massacre, in which five pro-slavery settlers were hacked apart with swords. After Bloody Kansas and the Civil War, Reverend Cole decided to head West along with the train to convert the Indians. Cole's manifesto against the United States government was inspired by John Brown's ideology. Reverend Cole's depression along with his past as a radical abolitionist eventually led his attempt to lead the Sioux Indians against the railroad.
Bohannon kept a deep disdain for the abolitionist, saying that "John Brown was a murderer." During the train hostage crisis, Reverend Cole ordered the telegraph operator to send out his manifesto. Cullen, reading the manifesto, recognized the style of writing as similar to John Brown.