John Brown, of Ossawatomie, was born at Torrington, Connecticut, in May, 1800. After residing for several years in Ohio and in Massachusetts and working at the trade of tanner and currier, he in 1855 removed to Kansas, where he became prominent by his active hostility to the pro-slavery party. His title of “Ossawatomie” was derived from a victory that he gained in August, 1856, as Ossawatomie, in Kansas, over a band of Missourians, under Henry Clay Pate, who was ten times more numerous than his own company. He is said to have formed the idea of becoming a liberator of American slaves as early as 1839. He convened, in May, 1859, a secret meeting of the friends of emancipation at Chatham, in Canada, where a plan for the invasion of Virginia and the liberation of slaves was agreed upon and perfected. In furtherance of this design, he rented the following July, a few miles from Harper’s Ferry, a farmhouse, where he laid in a supply of arms and ammunition; and on the night of October 16 of the same year, with a company of about twenty men, he surprised and captured Harper’s Ferry, with the arsenal and armory and over forty prisoners. He was attacked about noon on the day following by the Virginia militia and the United States marines. After two of his sons and most of his company had been killed and he himself several times wounded, he was made prisoner. He was tried in November, and was hung at Charlestown, Virginia, December 2, 1859.
|John Brown descends the gallows on December 2, 1859.|
|The Address of John Brown to The Virginia Court|
The article comes from the Comprehensive Dictionary of Biography Containing Succinct Accounts of The Most Eminent Persons In All Ages, Countries, and Professions by Edward A. Thomas. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates. Copyright, By Porter & Coates. 1883.