The book ends with an account of John Brown's short-lived and ill-fated rebellion and its far-reaching impact on the institution of slavery in the Southern town of Loudoun. The violent incident brought alive the unspoken fears of slave owners regarding the strength of their control over their “property.” The ever-growing number of sympathetic abolitionists added to this already incendiary situation until it finally bubbled over into the bloody Harper's Ferry incident mentioned earlier in the book. A brief recounting of the nuances and differences in the lives of Loudoun's diverse community of whites, colored folk, and other cultural minorities is then provided as a background for the incident. The power exercised by the ruling class over the other subgroups was based on political, economic, and social control. In the end, the abusive and discriminatory use of the said power finally led to the breaking of the community itself.
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