Jefferson, Ashtabula Co. Ohio: August 6, 1861.
1-1/2 pp. pen and ink on blue bifolium. 4to. John Brown, Jr., writes to one of the Secret Six. Fold creases, minor browning Item #313382
John Brown, Jr. (1825-1895), the eldest son the abolitionist John Brown, writes to Gerrit Smith, one of the "Secret Six" who helped finance the raid on Harper's Ferry. Brown writes to renege on a deal to purchase land in Essex Country, New York. "It has been a matter of no little sacrifice of feeling for me to ask you to receive back the land that I agreed for, especially after your generous gift of forty additional acres…." In 1846, Smith, who had extensive land holdings in the Adirondacks, had attempted to start a free black farming community in Essex County.
At the time of writing, Brown was recruiting a company of soldiers — his "Sharpshooters" — to travel to Kansas and enlist with Kansas volunteer forces. "For some time past, I have been convinced that the Infinite Disposer of events would use this war to break the arm of the Slave Power in our country. To be in some small degree instrumental in accomplishing this purpose is a motive sufficiently strong to induce me to again leave home, wife and child to engage in a contest from which, alone considered, every sentiment of my heart instinctively revolts. With the shedding of blood I have no sympathy whatever…."
Upon his arrival in Kansas, Brown was mustered in as the captain of Company K of the Kansas Seventh, serving until his resignation due to health problems in May of 1862.
With an autograph document signed ("John Brown, Jr.") relinquishing claim to "a certain piece of land known as the East half of Lot 294 (two hundred and ninety four) 11th (Eleventh) Township Old Military Tract in the County of Essex and State of New York"
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