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John Brown's Holy War | Timeline

Following John Brown


John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut, in 1800. He would spend the next fifty-nine years moving about the country, settling in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York, and traveling to many other locations.

1. Torrington, Connecticut
May, 1800 - John Brown born. 

2. Hudson, Ohio
June, 1805 - The Brown family joins the westward migration of New Englanders. The family moves to Hudson, Ohio, a town that would become known for its strong abolitionist views.

3. Randolph Township, Pennsylvania
May, 1826 - John Brown sets out on his own with his wife and children for the Pennsylvania wilderness. Like his father, he starts a tannery. Although he prospers at first, providing for his ever expanding family creates great economic hardships.

4. Franklin Mills, Ohio (now Kent, Ohio)
January, 1836 - Land speculation reaches dizzying heights. John Brown borrows money to buy land in the area, only to be crushed in the economic turmoil of 1837. 

5. North Elba, New York
1848 - John Brown moves his family to the Adirondacks, living with a small community of freed slaves. It is a beautiful, harsh and remote environment. 

6. Osawatomie, Kansas
Oct. 7, 1855 - John Brown arrives in Kansas. On May 24, 1856, he goes to nearby Pottawatomie Creek and directs his men in the murder of five proslavery settlers. 

7. Boston, Massachusetts
January 4, 1857 - John Brown begins fundraising campaign. He meets with Franklin Sanborn. Sanborn writes to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, asking him to come to Boston and meet Brown. 

8. New York
January 24, 1857 - Sanborn travels with John Brown to meet with the National Kansas Committee. Some think Brown is too violent and unpredictable to be trusted. 

9. Worcester, Springfield, New Haven, New York, Syracuse
Jan. 27 - Feb. 16 - John Brown travels throughout New England trying to raise money.

10. Boston
Feb. 18, 1857 - John Brown appears before a joint committee of the Massachusetts legislature to urge the appropriation of $100,000 for the defense of Kansas. 

11. Collinsville, Conn
March 1, 1857 - John Brown meets with Charles Blair, a blacksmith, regarding the manufacturing of "pikes," or spear-like points, which could be mounted on poles about six feet long. 

12. Concord, Mass
March 12, 1857 - John Brown speaks at the Town Hall. With Thoreau and Emerson listening, Brown says that he too hates violence, but accepts it as God’s will. 

 13. Boston
April, 6, 1857 - A rumor circulates through Boston that a federal marshal is about to arrest John Brown. Brown hides out in the house of Judge Thomas Russell. 

14. Peterboro, New York
Feb. 22, 1858 - John Brown reveals his plan to raid Harpers Ferry to Gerrit Smith and Franklin Sanborn. Sanborn calls a meeting of the "Secret Six." 

15. Chatham, Canada
May 8, 1858 - John Brown meets with African American leaders to promote his plan to incite a slave revolt in Virginia. He presents his Provisional Constitution to the convention.

16. Harpers Ferry, Virginia
July 3, 1859 - John Brown rents farmhouse a few miles outside of town under the name of Isaac Smith. 

17. Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
August 16, 1859 - John Brown arrives at clandestine meeting with Frederick Douglass. He tries to convince Douglass to join him at Harpers Ferry. 

18. Charlestown, Virginia
December 2, 1859 - John Brown is hanged after being found guilty of murder, treason, and inciting a slave insurrection.

19. North Elba, New York
December, 1859 - Mary Brown takes her husband’s body back to be buried in North Elba. 

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