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John Brown to John Brown Jr.

July 9, 1858

Boyd B. Stutler Collection
Ms78-1


(To J. B. Jr.)

Moneka, Linn Co, Kansas, 9th July, 1858.

Dear Friend

Your most Welcome letter (with enclosures exactly those I wanted) of the 23d July is received. The letter is much admired: much being told in very few words, all said that could be desired; & that in the handsomest & best manner. I have been spending some Weeks on the Missouri line; on the same Quarter secttion [sic] where the horible [sic] murders of May 19th were committed. Confidence seemed to be greatly restored amongst Free State men in consequence; several of whom returned to their deserted claims. The Election of the 2d inst passed off in perfect quiet on this part of the line: its general result in the territory you are doubtless advised of. Our going on to the line was done with the utmost quiet; & so far as I am concerned; under an assumed name to avoid creating any excitement: but the matter was soon in some measure leaked out; & over into Missouri. Some believed the report of O. B. being directly on the line; & in the immediate vicinity of West Point; but the greater part on the Kansas side did not believe it; In Missouri the fact was pretty well understood & the idea of having such a neighbor (improveing [sic] a claim as was the case) right in a conspicuous place; & in full view for miles around in Missouri produced a ferment there which you can better immagine [sic] than I can describe. Which of the passions most predominated, fear or rage I do not pretend to say. We had a number of visitors from there; some of which we believed at the time; & still believe were spies. One avowed himself a Proslavery man after I had told him my suspicions of himself & of those who came before him: but at the same time assured him that notwithstanding he was in a perfect nest of the most ultra Abolitionists; not a "hair should fall from his head," so long as we knew of no active mischief he had been engaged in. When I told him my suspicion of him he seemed to be much agitated though to all appearance a man of great self possession; & courage. [page 2] I recited to him briefly the story of Missouri invasions: threatnings [sic], bullyings; boastings, driving off, beating robbing, burning out, & murdering of Kansas people: telling him proslavery men of Missouri had begun & gone steadily forward in this manner with most miserably Pro Slavery, rotten; & corrupt Administrations to back them up assist; & shield them while carrying forward their devilish work. I told him Missouri people along the line might have perfect quiet if they honestly desired it: & further that if they chose war they would soon have all they might any of them care for. I gave him the most powerful abolition lecture of which I am capable; I having an unusual "gift of utterance" for me: gave him some dinner; told him to go back, & make full report: & then sent him off. Got no such visits afterward. I presume he will not soon forget the old Abolitionist "mit de" White beard, on. I gave him also a full description of my views of a "full Blooded" abolitionist & told him I all that "up to the Eyes." I further told him who were the real "Nigger Stealers" &c. I was badly down with the Ague for a few days past; but have got it nicely broke; & am now fast righting up. Write me under cover to Augustus Wattles Esqr, Moneka, Linn Co, Kansas; till further advised. I must beg of you or Wealthy to make copies of this & send to North Elba; & to J, & O. at Akron on account of my great weakness: & the labour it requires of me to write at all. May God all mighty bless you all. Yours ever J

PS Our family interest in Kansas affairs is so often misstated by those who dot [sic] know; & oftener do not care to tell the truth, that Mr Wattles had been for sometime past determined to bring out our history from time to time in a kind of series as he could collect facts: & instanly [sic] called on me for them. I have consented to supply them & have commenced. He wants every thing in regard to Fredk; the part he took in Kansas politics when & where he attended conventions; &c: as well as yourself; & the others: time spent, &c. Also the Osawatomie Resolutions, & who drafted them; if they can be had. Your letter to me giving an account of your journey up the river; the Death of Austin burial; &c, circumstances, want of arms just as it is without alteration; or abatement, [is] invaluable, & must be had. I believe it to be amongst the papers I have now with you. Do send it: if it is: without change. Let the absolute original come on. If not with you have it sent from North Elba. Send also any & all the interesting facts about yourself; & the family that you can think of: or supply. If possible give the name of the Slave holder at Waverly who gave you shelter with the circumstances so as to give full credit when we can; also name Dr Prentiss; & his Kind Treatment tho an entire stranger. State the particulars of your labours loss of sleep: & how you were refused admission to the houses; & the other treatment you & Jason, & Owen received at Osawatomie, before & at the time you, & he were taken prisoners: the treatment you both received while prisoners; both unkind as well as kind with the names of parties. Give as many interesting incidents as you can of what befel [sic] you both during your confinement. Get Jason & Owen to tell you what they can; of what they suffered saw heard & felt. My plan is by no means to let any of the original letters or manuscripts go out of my hands; but to let Mr K (my friend & coworker) copy so much from them as will set the public right; & furnish portions of a narative [sic] of most thrilling interest, to follow more at length in a book illustrated with engraving sketches of landscapes &c. The book I want you to publish when the material is all collected; with the understanding that the net proceeds go to benefit the whole of my suffering family: or to promote the cause of Freedom as may hereafter appear best, or for both objects. I am certain from the manner in which I have been pressed to narate [sic]; & the greedy swallowing every where of what I have told; & complaints in the Newspapers voluntaryly [sic] made of my backwardness to gratify the public: that the book would find a most tremendous Sale. What I intend to throw out; will afford a sure feeler of the public pulse. Title of the narative [sic] Brief history of old [Brown] & his family as regards Kansas by one who Knows or something like that. My plan would be to stop the narative [sic] at the point of deepest interest so far as newspapers are concerned. Say what you think of the plan. I seem likely to have some leisure if [I] get strong again.

The whole matter will be treated with delicacy: & with fairness. It is to be in fact our own statement. though not purporting to come from us. Yours as Ever.

J Brown Jr West andover Ohio


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