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Brown, John (1800-1859) to Owen Brown

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02454 Author/Creator: Brown, John (1800-1859) Place Written: Osawatomie, Kansas Type: Autograph letter signed Date: December 5, 1855 Pagination: 2 p. ; 31.7 x 19.9 cm. + 1 engraving ; b&w ; 21.4 x 13.6 cm + 1 engraving ; 16.5 x 11.5 cm

Brown discusses the free state struggle, and reports there are rumors of a free state man being murdered, and that it may lead to more violence. Says "We feel more, & more certain that Kansas will be a Free State." Also discusses family affairs, health, and his plan to stay in Kansas at least until spring. Bottom of the page and all of the second page are written by Samuel and Florilla Adair, with the end of their letter missing. They recount how the murder of the free state man happened, state that it is leading to war, and discuss the buildup of armed forces. The man murdered was named Charles Dow, he was shot by Franklin N. Coleman, and what followed was called the Wakarusa War. Despite large forces built up on both sides, there was no real battle at the time, and major fighting in Kansas was still months away. 2 black and white bust engravings of John Brown included.

Owen Brown was John Brown's father. Known as "Squire Brown" he was an abolitionist and a powerful force in John Brown's life.
Samuel L. Adair was married to Florilla B. Adair, John Brown's half sister. He was a Congregational missionary and an abolitionist. John Brown lived with him for a period, and he was a strong supporter of Brown's struggle.

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