Dwight Jenkins: "Inescapable thoughts and music upon visiting John Brown's grave"
The 1857 letters, when placed in chronological order, trace Brown’s movement westward, beginning with a good many letters written from New England in the first quarter of the year, and in April they show his return home to North Elba, New York, his movement within the latter state, and then his progress toward Ohio by June. For the rest of that month, Brown moved between Ohio and Chicago, and ended up back in Ohio before moving farther west. By July, we have Brown in Iowa, where the several letters presented here were written, including his famous autobiographical sketch for the son of his “Secret Six” support, George L. Stearns.
A Curious Issue
This portion of an 1860 map of Iowa shows where Brown left his son Owen at Davenport on the far eastern
side, then moved on to Iowa City; from there he seems to have proceeded westward as far as Red Rock,
where he started his autobiographical sketch on July 15; then, two letters from Brown were written on July 17-18, f
rom the more eastward location of Wassonville
|Wassonville on the English River|
in Brown's era Project Wassonville 2007
|Mary Brown with Annie and Sarah|
about seven years earlier, before
the birth of baby Ellen
|John Brown Jr.|