With all the controversy on the Confederate Flag lately it has me thinking: Do we have anything in New York state that could be considered offensive to American history? Would one of these sites in our state be the John Brown Farm State Historic site located in Lake Placid?

First off, let's review. Who was John Brown? John Brown was a American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. Brown felt if you were to arm the slaves, they would fight to destroy slavery. In 1859, Brown led an historic unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry.

During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by local pro-slavery farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee."

Brown's tactics that he chose still make him a controversial figure today.

Historians debate whether he was "America's first domestic terrorist"; many historians believe the term "terrorist" is an inappropriate label to describe Brown."

What would you consider him?

Would you consider him a terrorist who attempted to attack a federal armory and steal the weapons? Would you consider him someone who was so against slavery he was willing to do what ever it took to end it?

Currently his grave, and the farmhouse where he lived, are preserved as a memorial and New York State Historic Site. John Brown first came to Essex County in 1849. Brown did not stay long in Essex County. In 1855, he joined some of his sons who were homesteading in Kansas and carried on his fight against pro-slavery forces there. After his trial and execution in 1859 in Virginia, Brown's second wife, Mary, accompanied his body back to Essex County. Currently you're able to visit this site year round up in Lake Placid.