Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926) to Alexander M. Ross
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.19
Author/Creator: Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926)
Place Written: Rohnerville, California
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 15 May 1888
Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.5 x 12.5 cm.
Summary of Content: Knows that John Brown first conceived of raiding Harpers Ferry before going to Kansas, no matter what magazines say. Reporters ”say ’It is impossible to trace exactly how and when the Harper’s Ferry invasion first took shape in John Brown’s mind, but the indications are that it grew little by little out of his Kansas experience.’ Now in reply to this I will say that my father explained his plan to capture Harper’s Ferry in all its details, to me, the winter before he, or any member of his family, were in Kansas.” Declares Brown also thought of New Orleans instead of Harper’s Ferry, but gave it up. Discusses family’s move to Kansas.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Full Transcript: Rohnerville, Cal. May 15th, 1888., , Dr. A. M. Ross, My Dear Friend, It is a long time since I received your letter and the Magazine so kindly sent. I have promised myself every week that I certainly would find time the next, to reply to it, but family duties and cares have prevented me., In regard to the magazine article [sic], I think evry [sic] person has a right to their own opinion, and that a change of base gives an opertunity to form a different opinion. The writers look at one side, I do at another. I [inserted: also] have the advantage of an inside view. They say ”It is impossible to trace  exactly how and when the Harper’s Ferry invasion first took practical shape in John Brown’s mind, but the indications are that it grew little by little out of his Kansas experience.” Now in reply to this I will say that My father explained his plan to capture Harper’s Ferry in all its details, to me, the winter before he, or any member of his family, were in Kansas. I was then eleven years old [inserted: His reason for so doing was that] He thought I had overheard a conversation between him and other members of the family in regard to it. I now know, (although I did not until within a few years) that he talked more freely about his plans with me than with any other person. He used to often say to me ”I know I can trust you.” He made up his mind to go to Kansas, after a good deal  of deliberation, sometime in January or February, 1855. Owen and Frederick had gone on to Illinois with the stock, [inserted: the previous Fall] intending to go to Kansas in the Spring, John and Jason were to follow with their families. After Father concluded to go, he sent Salmon on to join Owen and Fred, in March. Father took a lot of cattle out in the spring to northern Ill, and sold them, left Oliver there to wait for him to come back to [inserted: Akron] Ohio and move Mother, Watson and we three little girls to North Elba N.Y. Now I have told this particulars to show that father did not go to Kansas because he was asked to by any person, but by his own free will and that he was preparing to go long before any member of his family [struck: went] [inserted: arrived] There., Salmon says he had a plan which he for a while talked of to go to  New Orleans from Kansas, to commence business from there instead of Harper’s Ferry, but for some reason gave it up. I know that one of his chief reasons for going to Kansas was to try to find men to join him in his ”expedition [struck: ”] South.”, Many thanks for your trouble and kindness in writing out the vegetable diet. We have never adopted it entirely as my husband opposes it. I find that men tolerate women’s opinions just so far as they agree with them, (the men)., Trying to revolutionize the world is an up hill business, and the pioneers in any cause have to wear out, and die out, without seeing much of the harvest., With love to your family, I am as ever your friend, Annie Brown Adams, , May 29th
Keywords/Subjects: African American History;, John Brown;, Abolition;, Slavery;, Woman Author;, Women’s History;, Children and Family;, Bleeding Kansas;, Immigration and Migration;
Background: Anne Brown Adams was the daughter of John Brown., Alexander M. Ross was a famous Canadian naturalist, also a prominent abolitionist and a strong supporter of John Brown.Order Image