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Jason Brown (1823-1912) was the second son born to abolitionist John and Dianthe Brown. He married Ellen Sherbondy in 1847. In February 1855, Jason, along with 4 brothers, moved to the Kansas Territory to homestead in an effort to help defeat slavery. John Brown joined his sons in October. Angered about the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces, John Brown led a raid on May 24 & May 25, 1856 resulting in the brutal deaths of five settlers. Jason’s only role in this massacre was to sharpen the swords used in this battle. Proslavery forces retaliated, burning their home to the ground and severely beating both Jason and a brother. Jason moved back to Ohio and did not further participate in his father’s military assaults. For a brief time Jason, along with his brother Owen, lived in Pasadena, California. His wife remained in Akron and worked diligently to pay off the family's many debts. This letter is written thanking his family’s benefactor, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn (1831-1917). Sanborn, an ardent abolitionist, was a part of the “Secret Six” who funded the militant activities of Brown. After Brown’s death, he assisted in supporting his widow and children throughout their lives.
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, John Brown, Ellen Brown, Kansas, Owen Brown, Pasadena, Akron
Brown, Jason, "Letter from Jason Brown to Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, August 18, 1886" (1886). Abolitionist Letters. 3.