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Aaron D. Stevens to Jennie Dunbar

Aaron D. Stevens to Jennie Dunbar
Creator: Stevens, Aaron D.
Date: December 3, 1859
From his jail cell at Charles Town, Virginia, abolitionist Aaron Dwight Stevens, 1831-1860, wrote his dear friend, Jennie Dunbar, regarding his actions and prospects ("Slavery demands that we should hang for its protection") and that he regretted nothing except that he would not live to "see this Country free." Stevens, reported to be one of abolitionist John Brown's bravest men, used the alias Captain Charles Whipple while following Brown. Stevens was convicted of treason and conspiring with slaves for his part in Brown's October 16, 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and was hung at Charles Town on March 16, 1860.


Adair-Brown cabin, Osawatomie, Kansas

Adair-Brown cabin, Osawatomie, Kansas
Date: Between 1890 and 1909
This sepia-colored photograph shows the Adair-Brown cabin in Osawatomie, Kansas. The structure, built around 1854 by Samuel Glenn, was sold in 1855 to John Brown's brother-in-law Samuel Lyle Adair. The cabin provided a home for the Adair family but was frequently used by Brown for abolitionist activities. In 1912, the structure was moved to the highest point in the John Brown Memorial Park which is also the site of the "Battle of Osawatomie" where John Brown and thirty free-state defenders fought in 1856 against 250 pro-slavery militia. A stone pavilion was built in 1928 to protect the cabin's exterior. The state legislature appointed the Kansas Historical Society to maintain the site. In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Adair-Brown cabin, Osawatomie, Kansas

Adair-Brown cabin, Osawatomie, Kansas
Date: Between 1880 and 1912
This sepia-colored photograph shows the Adair-Brown cabin in Osawatomie, Kansas. The structure, built around 1854 by Samuel Glenn, was sold in 1855 to John Brown's brother-in-law Samuel Lyle Adair. The cabin provided a home for the Adair family but was frequently used by Brown for abolitionist activities. In 1912, the structure was moved to the highest point in the John Brown Memorial Park which is also the site of the "Battle of Osawatomie" where John Brown and thirty free-state defenders fought in 1856 against 250 pro-slavery militia. A stone pavilion was built in 1928 to protect the cabin's exterior. The state legislature appointed the Kansas Historical Society to maintain the site. In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Affidavits concerning William and Henry Sherman, and Allen Wilkinson

Affidavits concerning William and Henry Sherman, and Allen Wilkinson
Creator: Grant, John T.
Date: June 12, 1856
This document contains brief affidavit statements made by several free state supporters of the character and personal habits of William and Henry Sherman, and Allen Wilkinson, who were described as "intemperate" men. William Sherman and Allen Wilkinson were among the five pro-slavery settlers killed in the Pottawatomie Massacre in May, 1856. The document is written in the same hand (suggesting that its statements were either recorded or copied by the same person), and is identified as "Potawatomie, Franklin County, Kansas Territory, June 12, 1856."


Albert Hazlett

Albert Hazlett
Date: 1859
Portrait of Albert Hazlett, one of John Brown's men. He was captured and executed at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.


Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: February 19, 1857
Amos Lawrence, Boston, sent John Brown $70 which had been donated by the people of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire, for Brown's "own personal use, & not for the cause in any other way than that. Lawrence did not believe Brown would receive much financial support from the National Kansas Committee: "the old managers have not inspired confidence, & therefore money will be hard for them to get now & hereafter."


Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: March 20, 1857
While John Brown was touring the East in March of 1857 he received this letter from Amos Lawrence, Boston, who informed Brown that he (Lawrence) had recently "sent to Kansas near $14,000 to establish a fund" for the support of common and secondary schools. As a result, Lawrence wrote he was short of cash and could not give Brown what he had requested. Nevertheless, "in case anything shd occur while you are engaged in a great & good to shorten yr life, you may be assured that yr wife and children shall be cared for more liberally than you now propose."


Antislavery Mass Meeting

Antislavery Mass Meeting
Date: November 26, 1859
Advertisement of an antislavery meeting to be held on December 2, 1859, in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on the day that abolitionist John Brown was executed.


Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company

Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company
Creator: Morgan, Shubel
Date: July 12, 1858
In July 1858, fifteen men including Shubel Morgan, alias John Brown, J. H. Kagi, James Montgomery, and Augustus Wattles signed this document and thus "agree[d] to be governed by the following rules" of conduct. The rules included "gentlemanly and respectful deportment," obedience to the commander's orders, "no intoxicating drinks," etc.


Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers

Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers
Date: ca. January 1857
Among the articles itemized in this "Memorandum of articles wanted as an outfit for fifty volunteers to serve under my [John Brown?] direction during the Kansas war" are wagons, horses, blankets, frying pans, etc., at an estimated cost of $1,774.


Augustus Wattles

Augustus Wattles
Augustus Wattles was an abolitionist who came to Kansas Territory from Ohio in 1855. For a time, he helped George Washington Brown publish the "Herald of Freedom" in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. In 1857, he was one of the founders of Moneka in Linn County, Kansas Territory. He was a supporter of abolitionist John Brown, and Brown stayed at his home several times after the Marais des Cygnes massacre. Wattles served in the Kansas Territory legislature in 1855.


Augustus Wattles to James Smith

Augustus Wattles to James Smith
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: June 18, 1857
From Lawrence on June 18, 1857, Augustus Wattles wrote Jas. Smith (Is this a Brown alias?) regarding affairs in Kansas Territory, specifically referring to several of the Free State Party's leaders: "Holmes' is at Emporia plowing. Conway's here talking politics. Phillips is here trying to urge the free State men to galvanize the Topeka Constitution into life. . . ." and Robinson had "dispirited the Free State party" by his absence from the legislature last winter, making it "difficult to make them rally again under him." Although one hears "much against Brown" he is "as good as ever."


Augustus Wattles to John Brown?

Augustus Wattles to John Brown?
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: August 21, 1857
Augustus Wattles wrote to John Brown from Lawrence, August 21, 1857, regarding several matters but focused again on problems within the Free State movement because of a loss of confidence in Charles Robinson's leadership. Robinson had openly criticized G. W. Brown and the Herald of Freedom and the factious party could accomplish little, but Wattles was confident that free staters would vote in and win the October election for territorial legislature.


Barclay Coppoc

Barclay Coppoc
Creator: Hinton, Richard J . (Richard Josiah), 1830-1901
Date: 1859
A pen and ink drawing of Barclay Coppoc used as an illustration in Richard J. Hinton's book John Brown and His men. Coppoc escaped from Harpers Ferry.


Barclay Coppoc

Barclay Coppoc
Date: 1859
Portrait of Barclay Coppoc, one of John Brown's men who escaped at Harpers Ferry.


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: January 8, 1857
Dr. Barstow Darrach wrote to comment upon recent events at the national level and the prospect of little support for the free state cause from either Congress or President Buchanan. He reported that John Brown was in New York speaking about Kansas, and that Brown was trying to raise some funds and other support for the free state cause.


Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties

Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
According to this document listing the participants and those "men wounded in the battle of Palmyra or Black Jack," son-in-law Henry Thompson was "dangerously wounded."


Bringing the prisoners out of the engine house at Harpers Ferry

Bringing the prisoners out of the engine house at Harpers Ferry
Date: 1859
Illustration showing soldiers bringing the prisoners out of the engine house at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).


Burying dead insurgents after Harpers Ferry insurrection

Burying dead insurgents after Harpers Ferry insurrection
Creator: Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper
Date: 1859
A sketch of the dead Harpers Ferry insurgents being buried.


C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown

C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown
Creator: Allen, C. G.
Date: December, 1859
Allen, a "minister of the Gospel" at Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory, writes in response to James Redpath's and R. J. Hinton's call for "anecdotes & reminiscences" concerning "the brave & philanthropic [John] Brown," who the preacher first met in 1856 in Lawrence, Kansas. Allen left Lawrence when a call came for volunteers to aid in the defense of Osawatomie, Kansas, in August of that year. While there engaged, he saw his first "Border Ruffians," whom he described as "miserable specimens of humanity. They were ragged & dirty. Their cloths & faces were to a considerable extent covered with tobacco spit." Allen and the men with whom he traveled missed the Battle of Osawatomie by moving south before the attack in an effort to find the attackers before they reached the town.


Capt. Cook brought out of jail

Capt. Cook brought out of jail
Date: 1859
An illustration of Captain John Cook, a John Brown follower, being brought out of jail and surrounded by soldiers.


Carrying the prisoners from the armory to the railroad station, in route to Charlestown, Virginia,  for trial

Carrying the prisoners from the armory to the railroad station, in route to Charlestown, Virginia, for trial
Date: 1859
An illustration showing Harpers Ferry prisoners being carried from the armory to the railroad station, in route to Charlestown, Virginia, for trial.


Charles A. Foster, statement about John Brown

Charles A. Foster, statement about John Brown
Creator: Foster, Charles A.
Date: July 12, 1860
Signed C. A. Foster, Boston, July 12, 1860, this brief statement asserts that John Brown "was not present" at the Pottawatomie Massacre, "but that he knew that it was going to be done" and "he approved it."


Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears

Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 30, 1857
Executed on March 30, 1857, with this agreement Blair promised to produce and deliver "One Thousand Spears; with handles fitted of equal quality to one doz already made and sent to Springfield, Mass." Specifications are briefly described, and then the contract reads: "In consideration whereof, John Brown late of Kansas" agreed to make a partial payment of $500 within ten days and another $450 as a final payment thirty days later.


Charles Blair to John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: February 10, 1858
On February 10, 1858, Blair reported from Collinsville, Connecticut, on the status of the spear production; he had most of the material ready to assemble the entire lot, but "I do not feel quite willing to go on and spend any more money and then have them left on my hands." He seemed to be sincere in his efforts to work with John Brown on this, and Blair did "feel disposed to blame" Brown for the situation, Blair's generosity and commitment to the cause only went so far.


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