John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.

"Your affectionate husband and father, John Brown": Rare autograph letter signed by John Brown to his wife and children

John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.

BROWN, John.


Item Number: 124158

Kingsport, Ohio:, 1859.

Rare autograph letter signed by and completely in the hand of Abolitionist John Brown to his wife and children regarding his return home. One page, entirely in the hand of John Brown, the letter is dated 7th April, 1859, and reads in part: “Kingsport, Ohio Dear Wife and children All, I write you March 25th enclosing Draft for $150, saying write me Care of American House… to say what articles you need of provisions, clothing, shoes +c. Have you written? I still wish you to retain what money you can for a few days, as I hope to be at home to advise with you about laying it out. I have been entirely laid up for more than a week… All well in Hudson, Akron and West Andover lately. May write again before getting home. My best wish for you all is that you may truly love God and his Commandments. Your affectionate husband and father, John Brown.” In December of 1858, Brown led a successful raid in Missouri, freeing 11 slaves, and leading them to Canada in January, 1859. He then met with Frederick Douglass in Detroit where he made a final plea to convince Douglass of the necessity of violence in ending American slavery. Brown had conceived of the Harper’s Ferry raid in early 1859, and would return home to North Elba one last time in June, before going to Harper’s Ferry in July, ending with his raid on the Federal Armory there on October 16th. His wife would not see him again until she was allowed to visit him in the Jefferson County Jail on the eve of his execution. In very good condition. Double matted and framed. The letter measures 6.5 by 4 inches. The entire piece measures 20 inches by 16.5 inches.

American abolitionist John Brown escalated the tensions that led to the American Civil War "to a degree that no other American did… he had an impact on the course of national events matched by few in American history" (Reynolds, ix-x). Dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement, Brown advocated armed insurrection as the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. The 1859, Brown led the historic raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia with the intention of arming slaves with weapons from the arsenal. The attack ultimately failed; Brown was imprisoned and found guilty of treason and executed after a two week trial, however, its impact on the course of American history were significant. "{The Harpers Ferry raid] sent tremors of horror throughout the South and gave secessionists a persuasive symbol of northern hostility. It hardened positions over slavery everywhere. It helped to discredit Stephen A. Douglas' compromise policy of popular sovereignty and to divide the Democratic party, thus ensuring the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860" (ANB).

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