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John Brown/Boyd B. Stutler Collection Database
Item Details:     Record Id: 729
I.D. Number: MS05-0044 A-U
Title: Letter. Salmon Brown to William E. Connelley, 1913 November 6
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: 1913-11-06
Media Format: Letter
Description: The first 21 pages of a letter from Salmon Brown to William E. Connelley, November 6, 1913. Brown discusses at length Hill Peebles Wilson and his book on John Brown. Addresses specific pages of Wilson's book. Discusses Chief Justice [Roger] Taney's comments on the rights of blacks [the Dred Scott Decision], James Redpath, squatter sovereignty in Kansas. Continued at next record.

Additional names: James H. Lane, James Montgomery, Mrs. [Sara] Robinson, Dr. William Watson Davis, Dr. William Savage Johnson, William Asbury Whitaker, [Frank] Sanborn, Oswald Garrison Villard, Charles Eliot Norton, John F. Morse, [James] Harris, Benjamin Cochrane, John E. Cook, [Charles] Lenhart, [Henry Clay] Pate, Owen Brown, Captain John Brown, Peter Brown; Sally Day, Clark, uncle Oliver Brown, Captain [Orson] Oviatt, John Brown Jr., Ely Moore, Eli Thayer, Charley Robinson, [John C.] Calhoun, Jeff Davis, [David R.] Atchison, Stringfellow, Judge [Sterling G.] Cato, [Jefferson] Buford, [John W.] Reid, Sheriff [Samuel J.] Jones, Henry Thompson.

Biographical or Historical Notes: The book critiqued is Hill Peebles Wilson, John Brown, Soldier of Fortune: A Critique (Lawrence, KS: 1913).
Text: [Page A] Portland, Nov. 6th, 1913.

William E. Connelley,
Dear Sir,
In reading the life of John Brown by Hill Peebles Wilson, the scandal writer, says the question was raised in 1889 in the Kansas Legislature who was the most distinguished Kansan. He therefore over his own signature cast his vote in favor of John Brown, for his fame was immortal. This was 40 years after John Brown was buried at North Elba, and every detail of John Brown's life had been ransacked and every absurd lie [Page B] had been told. In 1898 he reformed his opinions as to the character of John Brown.

It took him about 50 years to get his eyes open. He must be a fool or a knave. He writes well, not as a fool, So he must be a knave. We have many smart men that have not got as much conscience as a hyena. Such men as Chief Justice Taney, who said that a black man had no rights that a white man was bound to respect. So of course the Slave holding states had the right to pass laws that a black man could not appear in court against a white man. [Page C] That accounts for the mulattoes all over the Slave States before the war. The white men were bleaching out the back [sic] blood and paying from $1500 to $2000.00 for fancy colored girls on the auction block if they suited there fancy. It is a well known fact that colored children are now born black.

These men of easy reformed opening like Hill Peebles Wilson know that the people of Kansas that backed John Brown, James H. Lane, and James Montgomery never struck a blow but what was done in the defence of Kansas against the Missouri cut throats that were burning their towns and killing their people. It seems that Hill Peebles Wilson when he made that contract with Mrs Robinson had an appetite for filthy lucre by asking $5000.00 for his lying [Page D] worthless book which is fit only for reading by those who are still mourning for the lost cause.

I will now point out some of the lies in his book.

The men that are backing this damnable onslaught on John Brown ought to be Cudahied.
Principaly [sic] among them is Dr William Watson Davis perhaps some kin to old Jeff who doned [sic] womans clothes to get out of a great free county with a lot of loot, Also Dr William Savage Johnson whose name does not sound well among loyal men to their country. And also William Asbury Whitaker. I have known some good men by that name but he must be a black sheep in the flock.

[Page E] In the first chapter page 15 this little degenerate from the South Little Hill. P. says Redpath, Sanborn, and Oswald Garrison Villard played false on the people be suppressing some of the facts about John Brown. Strange that Little Hill P should be the only one to find it out.
Page 16 Redpath did not come from the South.
Mr Charles Eliot Norton seems to a weakling and did not dare to show which side he was on.
Page 17 John F. Morse proves he is another weakling a skimed [sic] milk calf.
Page 20 Little Hill P. says in regard to the Pottawatomie slaying the crime was the theft of a large number of horses. This in a bare faced lie as there was only one horse taken and that was Dutch Henrys gray stalion [sic] which I took my self all alone and made Harris saddle him for me. Another hell born lie is that [Page F] Benjamin Cochrane, John E. Cook and Lenhart were in the crowd. None of those men were there. The first time I ever saw Cook and Lenhart was after the battle of Black Jack they came to our camp to help hold Pate and his men. Another lie on this same page is that Brown and his unmarried sons in April 1856 had planed [sic] to abandon Kansas and the free State cause. This hell hounds lies are getting so thick that I will be forsed [sic] to drop many of them.
Page 21 I will let Villard take care of this page but will say that none of the Brown family ever left there [sic] claims untill [sic] they were burned out of house and home unless you call going into the fight was an abandonment.

[Page G] Page 22 I will leave this page to Villard but will say the poor devil in trying to make out Villard was concealing something which he did not want the people to know shows his rascally bent of mind. He praises Villard and then tried to discount him.
I want to state here what I overlooked about James Redpath Little Hill P. says Redpath came up from the South. James Redpath an American journalist born in Berwick Scotland Aug 24th 1833. He became assistant editor of the North American Review in 1886. He published the John Brown Invasion "Life of John Brown and talks About Ireland". He died Feb 10th 1891. I can prove my statment [sic] and I want to show the people what a falsifier little Hill P. is.

[Page H] Page 23 More sily [sic] slams at Villard by little Hill P.
Page 24 more knocks at Villard integrity showing Hill Ps inate [sic] cussedness
Page 25 The little degenerate talks about the conscientious historian I would think the brazen scamp would choke over that word, but that $5000.00 is to be made. It has been said that it is better to have the good will of a dog than the ill will, so I will stop calling names and try and get the good will of all the border ruffian invaders of Kansas.
Page 26 This page is Southern nonsense
Page 27 More worthless nonsense How foolish is the effort to make out that Owen Brown father of John Brown and son of Capt John Brown of 76 did not know wheather [sic] Peter Brown came over in the Mayflower or not.

[Page I] Page 28 is all right untill [sic] he gets to where he says he left Richmond Penn in financial distress which was not so. He had a fine paying business. He was the leading man in the place. He tried to build up the town for morality and temperance. A man by the name of Clark that married my mothers sister Sally Day came to Richmond and put up a saloon and sold whiskey. Clark was a smart fiery fighting man and father, to keep out of trouble with his brother in law, left and for no other reason in the world. I have been there and knew all of my relation and what caused my father to leave. My father never had a contract to build the Ohio and the Pennsylvania Canal from Franklin to Akron. My uncle Oliver Brown had a contract on that job. The rest on that page is not worth my notice.

[Page J] Page 29 I recollect Capt Oviatt. I know that they were always the best of friends and quit there [sic] company business the best of friends. The rest of this page is not worth my notice.
Page 30 brother John Brown Jr disposes of all matters pertaining to this page.
Page 31 On this page this man shows his degenerate moral character by making ascertions [sic] without any show of proof only his say so about things that he knew nothing about. I know he failed to realise on promises that he thought would not fail. Hundreds of good men have failed by the failure of others to do as they promised. Why did not these men arrest him for theft.
Page 32 and 33 speak for Brown and not for his traducer also Page 34 and 35 and 36.

[Page K] Page 37 In 1849 we had what was called the horizontal Tarif [sic] of 49 when fine saxony wool fell from 75 cts to 25 cts. Perkins and Brown had advanced on all wool consigned to them more than they could get for it. That broke my father up
Page 38 The most of this page is not worth my notice as it is all rot.
Page 39 Some more half told rot about Brown where in this man misrepresents everything he touches on it
Page 40 More mixed truth and falsehoods not worth my notice.
Page 41 More fool moralizing by a man who took a contract to lie without stint for $5000.00
Page 42 To Brown credit.
Page 43 More rot and false statements. Brown never was a nonresistant.

[Page L] Page 44 Not worth reading.
Page 45 A rehash of old matter
Page 46 A page of hotchpotch.
Page 47 Some more of the same sort.
Page 48 Old and of no interest now.
Page 49 Of some interest
Page 50 Of a little interest
Page 51 of a little more interest
Page 52 False. Brown and Higinson [sic] never were neighbors.
Page 53 Not worth reading fifty years after.
Page 54 The opinion of this man about Brown is not worth a hoop in the pit. A man that will sue a dead womans estate to collect the money due him on a contract to lie and slander a man that has been dead 50 years is no better than the one that hires the slander to do the dirty work. He will take his place with such vile fools as Ely More soner [sic] or later.

[Page M] Chapter 3rd
Page 55 This southern sprig of the lost cause here quotes "Golf" Taft and gives his opinion of Eli Thayer and Charley Robinson. The voters of the U. S. have passed their opinion on this man of abnormal stomach without a head to corespond [sic] and he is down and out. He was one of those that thought he was the whole thing and undertook to run this government over both houses of Congress. We have another one on the docket that will bite the dust in the same manner, sooner or later, for trying to dominate over the whole people of the United States.
Page 56 some history
Page 57 more history
Page 58 history
Page 59 history nearing the Kansas war to make Kansas a Slave State by bordor [sic] ruffian methods of murder and burning towns and invasions.

[Page N] Page 60 And last, but not least, Squatter Sovereignty. Let the people rule. This Calhoun and Jef Davis interpretation of let the people rule, was carried out in Kansas by Atchison and Stringfello [sic] by killing free State men and burning there towns and homes, but they run up against some of the old puritan Stock. At least Judge Cato who held his border ruffian court on the Pottowattomie at Dutch Henrys crossing, found it out when he made out warrants for all the Browns to be tried in his court. He had to flee the same as the one that was backing him had to do at the close of the civil war. He went away in a little better shape as he was not caught in womans cloths, but his court went to the pit where also the men went that he appointed to help him enforce his ruffian code Cato had fair warning from these Puritans and should have protected his helpers. If they had died for fighting [Page O] for human rights and liberty there [sic] taking off would have been wrong. But they were trying to establish slavery in a new territory which thank God they failed to do.
Page 61 Some more history
Page 62 This would be historian says "If the South lost Kansas its political power and prestige would be destroyed."
He is wise now after fifty years. That speaks well for his hind site.
Page 63 The gloom and dispondency [sic] which this man pictures out to exist in the north cleared up some when the free State men showed them that they had some fighting men.
Page 64 Eli Thayer and Charley Robinson his pets a blind of a deceitfull [sic] rebel, that fools no one

[Page P] Page 65 Not of much interest to me.
Page 66 Who whipped Bufords men and broke up Catos court and whiped [sic] Capt Pate at Black Jack and whiped [sic] Reed at Osawattomie when nine tenth of the people of Kansas did not dare to let it be known which side they were on. It was John Brown, and his men, and men that stood in with him.
These men that this man eulogises never raised a gun or a fist to defend this invaded country by the slave hounds of the South
Page 67 Robinson talks fight but always keep out of danger.
Page 68 Of not much interest to me. Some balderdash.

[Page Q] Page 69 In the fall of 1855 in what was called the Wakarusa war, Govornor [sic] Robinson was not arested [sic] and put in prison. I was there and know it is false. This man does not know what he is talking about
Page 70 Some more balderdash
Page 71 This two sided man rebel at heart still thinks that it devolves on him to moralise on the Kansas war. Without doubt it is better than lying as we read in the good book all liars are excluded from heaven. This ends another chapter of rot.

Page 72 Chapter 4th
Truth and false asertions [sic] mixed on this page.
Page 73 The most of this page is correct

[Page R] Page 74 Very true.
Page 75 Truth and error mixed.
Page 76 More truth and error
Page 77 Some more of the same sort.
Page 78 Some letters of Brown.
Page 79 He Hill P. talks like a white man.
Page 80 I have nothing to say about this page.
Page 81 Some moralising by Hill P.
Page 82 Full of false conclusions with an attack on Sanborn.
Page 83 False statements. Brown never took a claim in Kansas. He never had time to as he went to the defense of Laurance [sic] in the fall of 1855, and in the Spring of 56 the war was on in earnest.
Page 84 Some letters and more moralizing. very edifing [sic] in this 19th century.

[Page S] Page 85 The condition of the Brown family.
Page 86 The seige [sic] of Lawrance [sic].
Page 87 Browns acct. of the seige [sic] of Laurance [sic].
Page 88 The treaty made by Shannon.
Page 89 All about the treaty.
Page 90 Robinson never addressed the people on that platform. It was Gov Shannon the next morning after the treaty was made.
John Brown did mount the platform in a great rage and diclared [sic] that we had been betrayed. I stood near him. He was pulled down by some of he men that favored the treaty. Robinson and Lane both had their adherants [sic] over admiting [sic] Sheriff Jones to the conference that made the treaty. Came near being a fight over it.

[Page T] Page 91 Col. Lane and Robinson neither one of them made a speech on that platform. They both made a short speech when we were all lined up to be discharged. Robinson said he had made a mistake in inviting Jones to the treaty meeting with the dead body of Barber in the house. Lane got the lead with the people over Robinson from that one as he got up on a work bench in one of the large rooms and said that if Sheriff Jones came into this house with the dead body of Barber in the house we will carry him out with a couple of chips.
Page 92 John Brown did not say any thing when on the platform other than that we have been betrayed and he was pulled down by 4 or 5 men
Page 93 Nothing on this page calls for any remarks by me. Page 94 That any of the Browns or Henry Thompson ever planed [sic] to abandon the free state cause is a hell born lie gotten by one of the devil's chief liars.

[Page U] Chapter 5
Page 95 On this page this contractor with the devil and Mrs Robinson talks like the great archfiend himself whom he is serving.
Page 96 More fool assumptions from this mercernary [sic] devils noodle.
Page 97 Some more of the same sort.
Page 98 I will admit that he hoped for the overthrow of slavery by the coming conflict between freedom and slavery. He always talked it on all occasions.
Page 99 The man that would put the picture that is in this book between page 98 and page 99 and put John Browns name to it had ought to be sterilized.
Page 99 This degenerate reiterates the horse stealing which is false as false can be. There was only the one that I took from Harris belonging to Dutch Henry. Taking horses in time of war is a greater crime than buying and selling of human beings in times of peace, he thinks. [continued in the next record]

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