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John Brown papers [microform]

Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859

Date: 1849-1860

Level of Description: Series

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: MICROFILM: MS 137
Ms. Coll. 299

Unit ID: 227887

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Biographical sketch: Famous abolitionist; of Ohio; Osawatomie, Kan.; North Elba, N.Y.

Abstract: Business records and correspondence with family members.

Space Required/Quantity: 0.02 cubic feet

Title (Main title): John Brown papers [microform]

Titles (Other):

  • Papers
  • John Brown (1800-1859) collection
  • John Brown papers, 1826-1948

Biography

Biog. Sketch (Full):

1800 May 9: Born at Torrington, Connecticut


1804: Moved to Hudson, Ohio


1820: Married Dianthe Lusk


1825: Moved to Randolph (now New Richmond), Pennsylvania


1831 August: Dianthe (Lusk) Brown died


1832: Married Mary Ann Day


1835: Moved to Ohio where Brown was a farmer, merchant and wool dealer


1849: Moved to North Elba, New York


1855 October: Moved to Miami County, Kansas


1856 May 20-2: Pro-slavery raid on Lawrence, Kansas


1856 May 24: Massacred pro-slavery forces on Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas


1858: Chatham (Ontario) Convention where Brown planned his provisional government


1858 autumn: Brown returned to Kansas under the alias Shubel Morgan, freed slaves in Missouri, and took them to Canada


1859 Oct. 16: Raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia)


1859 Oct. 19: Taken to Charlestown, Virginia (now Charles Town, West Virginia) prison


1859 Oct. 27-31: Tried


1859 Dec. 2: Executed


Scope and Content

Scope and content:

There is a small quantity of business records at the beginning of the microfilm. Most of these documents pertain to Brown’s various unsuccessful commercial ventures in Ohio and New York, particularly in land and wool.



John Brown’s personal correspondence for the decades of the 1840s contains letters to and from the Brown family and a phrenological description of John Brown.



Most of the letters for the years 1850 through 1859 were written by John Brown. There is a certificate from an emigrant-aid company, letters to and from the Brown family, federal Court documents, a copy of John Brown’s account of the Battle of Black Jack and a casualty list from the battle, a circular “To the Friends of Freedom,” a contract, letters to John Brown, a photocopy of a Bible message by John Brown, “Old Brown’s Farewell,” documents relating to the Underground Railroad, John Brown’s “Parallels,” various letters and documents written prior to the Harper’s Ferry raid, John Brown’s last letters (originals and facsimiles) to his family, and letters of sympathy to Mrs. Brown after his execution.



Other parts of the John Brown (1800-1859) manuscript collection at the Kansas Historical Society have been microfilmed on rolls MS 225, MS 799.03, and MS 1245-MS 1247. MS 799.03 contains pages of The Lawrence Daily Journal from 1879 featuring a debate about John Brown, much of which was written by G. W. Brown. MS 799.03 also contains a number of typewritten transcripts of John Brown letters, some of which are a part of the collection. Rolls MS 1245 through MS 1247 contain the complete John Brown collection at the Kansas Historical Society. These rolls are available from the Kansas State Historical Society through inter-library loan.



Other John Brown documents microfilmed by other repositories are on rolls MS 61 (Memoranda book, 1839 - 1859, at the Boston Public Library), and MS 204 and MS 212 - 219 (John Brown, Jr., papers collected by Boyd B. Stutler and filmed by the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus). This microfilm is available for use in the Reference Room of the Kansas Historical Society (KSHS) but is not available for inter-library loan from the KSHS.



Other collections at the Kansas Historical Society containing significant quantities of John Brown material include those of Richard Josiah Hinton, Charles & Sara T. D. Robinson (microfilm MS 640 - MS 652), Samuel Lyle & Florella Brown Adair (microfilm MS 1230 - MS 1237), and George L. & Mary Stearns (microfilm MS 171). The microfilm may be borrowed from the Kansas State Historical Society through inter-library loan.



Other repositories holding significant John Brown collections (with National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections entry numbers in parentheses) include Allegheny College Library, Meadville, Pa. (MS 66-1013); Atlanta University Center Archives (formerly at Atlanta University) (MS 65-1); Chicago Historical Society Research Center (MS 62-1410); Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division (MS 62-4553); and Ohio Historical Society Archives / Library, Columbus (MS 62-4899).



A list of published John Brown documents in the Kansas Historical Society Library appears in this finding aid.

Locators:

No Locators Identified

Microfilm:

  • MS 137: John Brown papers 1849-1860

Related Records or Collections

Associated materials: The complete John Brown (1800-1859) collection (no. 299) at the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka) is on microfilm rolls MS 1245-MS 1247. Other John Brown documents microfilmed by other repositories are on rolls MS 61 (Memoranda book, 1839 - 1859, at the Boston Public Library), and MS 204 & MS 212 - 219 (John Brown, Jr., papers collected by Boyd B. Stutler and filmed by the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus).

Other Finding Aid/Index: Finding aid to the source collection available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka); on its website, http://www.kshs.org/p/john-brown-papers-1826-1948/13993 ; and on microfilm rolls MS 1245-MS 1247.

Related materials:

Appendix: Published Documents by John Brown in the Kansas State Historical Society Library



Brown, John. Address of John Brown to the Virginia Court at Charles Town, Va. . . . Nov. 2, 1859.



-. Autobiography; family record & other papers. 1899.



-. Copy of letter to Zenas Kent, dated April 29, 1835 from Randolph, Pa.



-. Court of appeals of Virginia. Richmond. Commonwealth v. Brown. 1859.



-. Final Speech-November 2, 1859.



-. The John Brown Letters. Found in the Virginia State Library in 1901.



-. John Brown writes to Blacks, edited by Benjamin Quarles.



-. John Brown’s Parallels.



-. Letter. (“John Brown’s last letter,”-dated Dec. 2, 1859.)



-. A letter from John Brown. (dated Nov. 9, 1859, Charlestown, Va.)



-. A letter from John Brown never before in print. Dated Springfield, Mass., April 16, 1857.



-. Letter from Old John Brown. Jan., 1859.



-. Letter of John Brown (written at White Hall, N.Y., May, 1851).



-. Letter. . . to George Kellogg (dated Hudson, Summit Co., Ohio, 1840).



-. Letter to his cousin Rev. Luther Humphrey. . . (dated Nov. 19, 1859).



-. Letter to Rev. Luther Humphrey-dated November 13, 1859.



-. Letter of John Brown on the wool trade. (dated Springfield, Mass. March 12, 1849).



-. Parallels.



-. Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States. (Drawn up at the Provisional Constitutional Convention, May 8, 1858.) (in documents of U.S. 36th Congress, 2d Session, Senate).



-. Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States. . . (Reprint of the 1858 edition.)



-. Testimonies of Capt. John Brown, at Harper’s Ferry. . .



Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin. The Life and Letters of John Brown. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969.



-. Memoirs of John Brown, with Memorial Verses by W. E. Channing. Concord, 1878.

Index Terms

Subjects

    Brown family
    Business records -- Ohio
    Kansas
    North Elba (N.Y.)
    Ohio
    Osawatomie (Kan.)
    United States -- History -- 1815-1861
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Causes
    Brown, John, 1800-1859
    Brown, John, 1800-1859 -- Archives
    Abolitionists -- Kansas
    Abolitionists -- United States
    Antislavery movements -- Kansas
    Antislavery movements -- United States
    Radicals -- United States
    American letters

Creators and Contributors


Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Use and reproduction: The subject of literary rights was not addressed at the time of donation, consequently copyright is presumed to belong to the heirs of John Brown or other authors of documents. Documents old enough to no longer be covered by copyright are in the public domain.

Add'l physical form: Microfilm. Topeka [Kan.] : Kansas State Historical Society, 1959; roll MS 137, available for research or inter-library loan.

Cite as: [name of document], [date of document], John Brown papers, 1849-1860, Kansas Historical Society microfilm MS 137.