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John Brown to John Brown Jr.

July 9, 1858

Boyd B. Stutler Collection

(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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