Abolitionist and lead crusader of the Pottowatomie massacre signs a
handwritten letter of receipt for his brokerage business with Simon Perkins in
Autograph letter signed: "Perkins & Brown", ¼p, 7¼x12¼.
Springfield, Massachusetts, 1846 July 11. To Henry J. Kirtland Esqr.
In full: "Your splendid lot of wool has been received, & opened,
together with the lots of Montgomery & Brown, John Livingston, Charles Long,
& D. Summer. The prospects of sale are good notwithstanding there is some
panic just now about the Tarriff (sic)." Integral address leaf
addressed by Brown to: "Henry J. Kirtland Esqr/Poland/Trumbull Co./Ohio".
"From/Old Ossawatomie" (sic) written in pencil at upper left (unknown hand).
In an attempt to provide for his large family, JOHN BROWN, who was raising
sheep after several previous business endeavors had failed, entered into a
partnership with SIMON PERKINS. Their Springfield, Massachusetts brokerage for
wool growers also ended in failure, resulting in a $60,000 break of contract
suit. Brown then turned his attention full-time to abolitionist affairs.
While in Springfield, he had organized the League of Gileadites to help Blacks
protect themselves and to assist fugitive slaves. While his Pennsylvania farm
was also a station on the Underground Railroad, it was not until the spring of
1855 that Brown achieved notoriety after he and five of his sons went to Kansas
to help win the territory as a free state (in addition to gaining land for
themselves). Brown settled on the Osawatomie River, ostensibly as a surveyor,
but quickly raised a militia and began his militant abolitionist activities
in earnest. He is especially remembered for leading the raid on the
federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (October 16-17, 1859) in the
hope that other slaves would revolt (Brown had conceived a plan to establish a
state for fugitive slaves in the Appalachian Mountains). Tried as a traitor
and hung in the South, Brown was hailed as a martyr in the North. Julia Ward
Howe's 1862 poem, "Battle Hymn of the Republic", was sung to the music of the
marching song, "John Brown's Body". Browned, soiled and stained. Creased,
ink transference in blank areas. Holes and tears. Some tears touch some letters
in date and in address on address leaf, but all intact. Mounting remnant at
lower blank edge of address leaf side. Darkly penned and easy to
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