Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 56

Price Realized: $ 2,040
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) BROWN, JOHN JR. Autograph Letter Signed addressed to Gerrit Smith at Petersboro, New York, dated August 6th, 1861 * Deed assigning a tract of land to Smith similarly signed and dated August 1861. two 4to sheets, joined at some later date to form four pages, written on two sides in a neat script; small 4to leaf, written in a neat hand with facsimile 'seal' at the foot of the page. Jefferson Ashtabula Co, Ohio, August 6th, 1861

Additional Details

Brown writes to Gerrit Smith in regard to the return of some land he had contracted to buy. Smith (1797-1874) was a wealthy heir to tens of thousands of acres of land in several upstate New York counties. He was an ardent supporter of John Brown and had donated both funds and land to the cause. After Brown's execution, Smith collapsed and had to be briefly interned in an upstate lunatic asylum. In this letter, John Brown Jr., in obvious financial straits, writes: 'My dear Friend: Your favor of the 2nd Inst. I have just received. 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, but I could think of no other way.' He explains that he needed funds and was moving back to Kansas where he planned to join Colonel Montgomery who had been put in charge of the 3rd Kansas Infantry. Brown continues to say that he believed God 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. Would that the maintenance of justice were not subject to such dreadful alternatives.' Upon his arrival in Kansas in December, Brown was mustered in as the captain of Company K of the Kansas Seventh. Brown, served as captain of the company until May of 1862, when he resigned because of his rheumatoid arthritis.