Autograph letter signed by American abolitionist John Brown to business partner General Simon Perkins

  • John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.
  • John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.
  • John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.

John Brown Autograph Letter Signed.


Item Number: 95162

Rare autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of profoundly influential American abolitionist, John Brown regarding his business partnership with Simon Perkins. Two pages, folded the letter reads in part: “Springfield Mass 17th March 1848 Friend Perkins Dear Sir, When I wrote you last I promised to give you some further particulars in regard to our business soon. At the time I thought matters were so wronged with Burlington that we should have no further trouble with them: & we have got $10,000 in Acceptances most of which we have got discounted. This helps a little for the present but the prospect is dull about getting the matter closed before the opening of navigation; which however we look for soon; as we have had but very little winter. We have some 20 or 30 thousand lbs of fine wool not contracted away, & we think there is some prospect that we mat have to put it down some to realize the cash on it. Money is still tight & manufacturers talk quite as poor as usual. I am not yet able to set a time exactly when we can refund the money you have advanced but should be glad to know when you will probably need it…Have not another moment to write now. Yours Truly, John Brown.” The recipient, General Simon Perkins, was an American businessman and early settler of the Western Reserve of Connecticut, which would later become northeast Ohio. Perkins co-founded the city of Akron, Ohio and established several banks in Warren, Painesville and Norwalk, eventually becoming one of the largest landowners in the state. Before leaving for the Kansas Territory to take up arms against the proponents of slavery, Brown managed a number of Perkins’ flocks of sheep and sold their wool. In very good condition. Rare and desirable.

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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