Skip Navigation


Dianthe Lusk Brown

“Dianthe, my sister, . . . was plain, but attracted John Brown by her quiet, amiable disposition. She was my guiding-star, my guardian angel;
she sung beautifully, most always sacred hymns and tunes; and she had a place in the woods, not far from the house, where she used to go
alone to pray. She took me there sometimes to pray with me. She was a pleasant, cheerful person, but not funny; she never said anything
but what she meant.” – Milton Lusk, 1882 (Sanborn, Life and Letters of John Brown)

Dianthe Lusk, 1801-1832, was born to Amos and Mary Lusk. The Lusks moved from New York to the Hudson, Ohio, area when Dianthe was just a few weeks old. After John Brown and Levi Blakeslee went into business, Brown engaged a housekeeper, the widow Mary Lusk whose husband had died at Sandusky during the War of 1812. Her daughter Dianthe, a pious, gentle, and plain 19-year-old, attracted Brown’s attention, and the two married June 21, 1820. Their first child, son John Jr., was born a year later. As the family grew, Dianthe showed signs of mental instability and suffered increasing ill health. Three days after the birth of her seventh child in August 1832, Dianthe Brown died. She was buried in New Richmond, Pennsylvania.


Chapter One: Childhood and Early Adult Years

His Soul Goes Marching On

West Virginia Archives and History