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Abolitionist and lead crusader of the Pottowatomie massacre signs a handwritten letter of receipt for his brokerage business with Simon Perkins in 1846.
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 read.

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Born: May 9, 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut
Died: December 2, 1859 in Charles Town, Virginia

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