John Brown


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 moved to Kansas in 1855, where he became prominent by his active hostility to the pro-slavery party. His title of "Ossawatomie" was derived from a victory which he gained in August, 1856, at Osawatomie, in Kansas, over a band of Missourians, under Henry Clay Pate, who were ten times more numerous than his own company. He convened, in May, 1859, atChatham, in Canada, a secret meeting of the friends of emancipation, 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 in the following July, a few miles from Harper's Ferry, a farm-house, 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.

Adapted from The Dictionary of Biography by Charles Morris

Key events during the life of John Brown:

Birth of John Brown.
  Worked as a tanner and currier.
Moved to Kansas.
Raid at Harper's Ferry.
Capture and execution of John Brown.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
John Brown's Raid  in  Story of the Great Republic  by  H. A. Guerber
John Brown  in  American History Stories, Volume III  by  Mara L. Pratt
Dixie's Land and John Brown's Body  in  American History Stories, Volume IV  by  Mara L. Pratt

Image Links

Arresting John Brown at Harper's Ferry
Arresting John Brown at Harper's Ferry

John Brown at Harper's Ferry
 in Story of the Great Republic

Short Biography