John Brown

 From the Kansas Historical Society:

Abolitionist. Born: 9 May 1800.  Died: 2 December 1859

John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut, on May 9, 1800, to Owen and Ruth (Mills) Brown, 

John Brown

the fourth of eight children. In 1805 the family moved to Ohio where the elder Brown was a supporter of Oberlin College. At age 16 Brown attended prep school in Connecticut, with the hope to become a Congregationalist minister.

Brown married Dianthe Lusk, June 21, 1820, and the couple moved to Pennsylvania, where their seven children were born. There they raised cattle, and Brown was a surveyor and tanner. She died in 1832. Brown then married Mary Ann Day, June 14, 1833. The couple had 13 children. In 1836 the family moved to what is now Kent, Ohio, and operated a tannery. Brown also developed a reputation as an expert in wool. In 1837, after the murder of influential abolitionist and editorialist Elijah P. Lovejoy, Brown proclaimed his support of the antislavery cause. Brown moved his family in 1846 to Springfield, Massachusetts, where an abolitionist movement was underway. As a parishioner at Free Church he saw lectures by African American abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth.


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From the Kansas Historical Society