Biography of John Brown
Famous American Biographies

JOHN BROWN ("Brown of Ossawatomie"), a noted character in American history, was born at Torrington, Connecticut, May 9, 1800. In his childhood he removed to Ohio, where he learned the tanner's trade. He married there, and in 1855 settled in Kansas. He lived at the village of Ossawatomie in that state, and there began his fight against slavery. He advocated immediate emancipation, and held that the negroes of the slave states merely waited for a leader in an insurrection that would result in their freedom. He attended the convention called at Chatham, Canada, in 1859, and was the leading spirit in organizing a raid upon the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His plans were well laid, and carried out in great secrecy. He rented a farm house near Harper's Ferry in the summer of 1859, and on October 16th of that year, with about twenty followers, he surprised and captured the United States arsenal, with all its supplies and arms. To his surprise, the negroes did not come to his support, and the next day he was attacked by the Virginia state militia, wounded and captured. He was tried in the courts of the state, convicted, and was hanged at Chariestown, December 2, 1859, The raid and its results had a tremendous effect, and hastened the culmination of the troubles between the north and south. The south had the advantage in discussing this event, claiming that the sentiment which inspired this act of violence was shared by the anti-slavery element of the country.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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