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John Brown to Frank Sanborn

October 1, 1857

Boyd B. Stutler Collection

Tabor, Freemont [sic] Co. Iowa, Oct 1st 1857.

F B Sanborn Esqr
Concord, Mass, My Dear Sir

Two days since I received your very Kind letter of the 14th Sept; also one from Jas Hunnewell Esqr saying he had sent me $72.68 Seventy Two Dollars & Sixty Eight Cents through P T Jackson Esqr of Boston; for both [of] which I am very glad. I cannot express my gratitude for your earnest; & early attention to my wants; & those of my family. I regret that Mr Hunnewell did not at once send me either a Check, or a Draft on New york; or Boston; as it will probably be One Month or more before I can realize it: & I have not the means of paying my board bill here; not having as yet received any thing from Mr Whitman towards balance of $500 nor heard from him. If I get the money from Mr Hunnewell & from Mr Whitman it will answer my present wants except for the secret service I wrote about. I will have all the Arms I am likely to need: but I am destitute of Saddle Bags or Knapsacks, Holsters, & Belts. Have only a few Blankets; have no Shovels or Spades: no Mattocks: but 3 or 4 Axes (Ought to have 100.) & am nearly destitute of Cooking utensils. The greater part of what I have just named; I must do without till another Spring at any rate. I found here One Brass field piece complete, & One damaged Gun carriage with no Limber with some ammunition suitable for it. Some 70 to 75 old damaged U S Rifles, & Muskets, One Doz old Sabres, some Powder & Lead, (enough for present,) weight not known. I suppose sent by National Comm. Also One Doz Boxes, & Barrels Clothing, Boots &c; with 3 Hand Grist Mills sent to Nebraska City, from same source. I also got from Dr Jesse Bowen of Iowa City: One old Waggon [sic] which broke down with a light load on the way: also 9 full sized Tents, 3 set Tentpoles (additional,) 11 pair Blankets, & 3 Axes; sent there by National Comm. Also from Mr Hurd I got an order for Fifty Dollars worth of Tents Waggon [sic] covering, Ropes &c, at Chicago: which was paid me. I find 194 Carbines, about 3300 Ball Cartridges, all the Primers; but no Iron Ladles. This I believe with the teams & Waggons [sic] I purchased; will give you a pretty correct idea of the stuff I have. I had a gun & pair [of] Pistols given me by Dr Howe: & some 3 or 4 Guns made for experiment by Mr Thayer; & a little Cannon & Carriage as one of them & one nice Rifle by the manufacturing Co. at Worchester [sic]. I had also a few Revolvers, common Guns, & Sabres left on hand [page 3] that I took on with me in 1855. While waiting here: I & my son have been trying to learn a little of the arts of Peace with Col F who is still with us. That is the Scool [sic] I alluded to. Before I reached here I had written particularly to friends in Kansas saying I wanted help to meet me here & to wait for me should I be detained on the way. I also aranged [sic] with Mr Whitman in regard to it in Chicago. He sent One Man with $150. $40. of it he kept, & went immediately back. From that time I send you copies of some of the correspondence between Kansas & me: as rather essential to give you a correct idea of things in connection with my statements yet to be made. When I got on here I immediately wrote Mr Whitman & several others what was my situation, & wants. He Mr Whitman has not written me at all since what I send [sic]. Others have written as you will see. I wrote the man Mr Whitman sent among the rest: but get no word from him since what I now send. As to the "policy" of voting on Monday next I think Lane hit his mark at the Convention of Grasshoppers if never before. I mean "an escape into the filth sluice of a prison." I had not been able to learn by papers or otherwise distinctly what course had been taken in Kansas till within a few days: & probably the less I have to say the better. I omited [sic] above to say that I paid out $550, on a Contract for 1000 superior Pikes as a cheap but effectual weapon to place in the [page 4] [hands] of entirely unskilful [sic], & unpracticed men: which will not easily get out of order; & require no Amunition [sic]. They will cast handles & all complete a little short of One Dollar each. That contract I have not been able to fulfil [sic] & wise Military men may ridicule the idea: but "I take the whole responsibility of that job"; so that I can only get them. On hearing that Lane had come into Nebraska I at once sent a young man with a line saying I had been hurt & was exceedingly anxious to see him early in Sept. To this he sent me no reply unless Redpaths letter be one. I am now so far recovered from my hurt as to be able to say a little & foggy as it is: we "do not give up the Ship." I will not say that Kansas watered with the tears & blood of my Children; shall yet be Free or I fall. I intend at once to place the Supplies I have in a secure place; & then to put myself, & such as go with me where we can get more speedy communications; & can wait until we know better how to act than we now do. I send this whole package to you thinking Concord a less offensive name just now than Boston: at this end of the route. I wish the whole conveyed to my fried [sic] Stearns: & other friends at Boston as Old Browns last report. Untill [sic] further advised I wish all communications directed to Jonas Jones Esqr, Tabor, Freemont [sic] Co. Iowa outwardly, & I hope you will write often. I had forgotten to say that day before Yesterday one single man alone with no team whatever, came from Lane to have me start at once for Kansas as you will see by copies. He said he had left Ten fine fellows about 30 miles back. The names he gave me were all strange to me as well as himself. Tabor folks (some [of] them) speak rather slitingly [sic] of him notwithstanding that he too; is a General. Oct 3d/57. Yours covering Check is this moment to hand & will afford most seasonable relief. Express goes to K to see how land lies at once. You will hear again soon.

Yours mos [sic] truly J Brown

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West Virginia Archives and History