John Brown December 2009: 150 years since his execution

John Brown — the abolitionist. What does HE have to do with Ulysses S. Grant?

Here is Ulysses Grant’s quote from his Memoirs:

[1810-1812] in a few years [Jesse Grant, Ulysses’s father] returned to Deerfield and worked for, and lived in the family of a Mr. Brown, the father of John Brown—”whose body lies moldering in the grave, while his soul -goes marching on.” I have often heard my father speak of John Brown, particularly since the events of Harper’s Ferry. Brown was a boy when they lived in the same house, but he knew him afterward, and regarded him as a man of great purity of character, of high moral and physical courage, but a fanatic and extremist in whatever he advocated. It was certainly the act of an insane man to attempt the invasion of the South and the overthrow of slavery with less than twenty men…”

Ulysses Grant's father Jesse lived in this home with the John Brown family.

We visited the location of the tannery and house where Jesse lived with the Brown family. The house is still in existence, and we are debating whether there is anything left of the old tannery in the two barns that are on the property.

The house used to have double barn doors in the back that opened to a tack room. I could almost hear Owen Brown, John Brown’s father, tapping and working away in that room, which since has been converted to a family room.

John Brown and Ulysses Grant portraits in Owen Brown's house.

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