Here's Something About Mary (in California)
10 March 2016
A celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mary Brown is in creation at the Saratoga Blossom Festival in California on March 19, 2016.
The program will honor Alice Keesey Mecoy, direct descendant and native of Santa Clara County, where Mary and 17 family members are interred at the Madronia Cemetery.
We celebrate the early life of Mary Ann Day in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she lived in childhood, marriage to John Brown, and is honored by the John Brown Heritage Association there today.
A special treat is in store with the sharing of an 1874 letter from James Fablinger, the husband of Ellen Brown, which was found in Galena, Illinois by history librarian and author Scott Wolfe. The event takes place at the City of Saratoga Civic Center, which is the orchard property owned by James and Ellen Fablinger in the 19th and early 20th centuries, acquired from their daughter in her elder years in the 1950s.
The revised supplement to the John Brown Photo Chronology will be available to benefit the Saratoga Historical Foundation, where the largest collection of research materials about Mary and her last home are housed. The supplement is also available for order online.
Your kind attention and support is appreciated.
Allies for Freedom, Mary Brown and Her Daughters Documentary Project
MARY BROWN’S BIRTHDAY (1816 -- 1884)
WIFE of JOHN BROWN of HARPERS FERRY
WARNER-HUTTON HOUSE, SARATOGA CIVIC CENTER
MARCH 19, 2016 3 pm
Charcoal photo portraits of John and Mary Brown by their daughter, Sarah,
resident of Saratoga from the 1880s-1916. Saratoga Historical Foundation
MARY AND HER DAUGHTERS SARAH AND ELLEN BROWN FABLINGER, PIONEERS WITH HUSBAND JAMES FABLINGER, SETTLED IN SARATOGA IN 1881.
TEACHERS, MISSIONARIES, AND ORCHARDISTS—AS TOLD BY JEAN LIBBY, AUTHOR OF JOHN BROWN PHOTO CHRONOLOGY and editor/publisher of JOHN BROWN MYSTERIES by ALLIES FOR FREEDOM
John Brown's Family History by JEAN LIBBY is “A GEM OF CALIFORNIANA”
JAMES J. RAWLS, CALIFORNIA HISTORY REVIEWS EDITOR
Mary Ann Day Brown is celebrated as a popular permanent resident of the Madronia Cemetery in
her own place in history as well as association with her abolitionist husband John Brown, executed
in Virginia in December 1859 for attempting to arm slaves and establish self-governing enclaves in
the western Territories. John Brown’s raid is often called the spark that started the American Civil
War, which formal hostilities began in April 1861.
Mary was the second wife of John Brown, community leader and business owner of a leather
tannery in Meadville, Pennsylvania. His first wife, Dianthe Lusk Brown, was buried there after her
death in childbearing in 1832, leaving four growing sons and a daughter in need of care. John
Brown asked young Mary who was helping the household to be his wife. They married a year later
when Mary was seventeen years old. She bore thirteen children, only six of whom survived to
adulthood. Two of their sons were killed at Harpers Ferry.
Mary was born on April 15, 1816 in Granville, New York. Her father was a widowed blacksmith,
married a second time to Mary Ann Little. Her older sister, Martha, married Thomas Delameter in
New York. The families emigrated to Crawford County, western Pennsylvania, ca. 1824.
Jean Libby traveled to Meadville in September 2014 and experienced the history guided by the
longtime secretary and editor of the John Brown Heritage Association in Meadville, Mr. Edward
Edinger. We drove the post road where Brown was appointed by President John Quincy Adams.
We stopped at Delameter’s Stand, the extant lovely residence where the wedding reception for
John and Mary was held, and allowed to photograph the parlor. We visited the tannery where there
is historical interpretation of Mary as well as her husband. The John Brown Tannery at Richmond
Township is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978.
Please welcome Jack Mallory, a Saratoga Historical Foundation member and native of Meadville to
the commemoration of the 200th birthday of Mary Ann Day Brown, who came to Saratoga to live in
1881. Associated properties are on the maps distributed with the program. The celebration takes
place on the grounds of the City of Saratoga Civic Center, which was acquired from the last living
daughter of James and Ellen Brown Fablinger in the 1950s, having been their orchard property
while they lived in Campbell.
We honor today a direct descendant of John and Mary Brown who was born in Santa Clara County,
Alice Keesey Mecoy. Her study of ancestry goes well beyond genealogy with active association
of anti-racist and anti-slavery activities in the present day. This is in keeping with the example of
her great great great great grandmother Mary, who continued to battle against racism and peonage
labor until the end of her life. That heritage continues as a beacon in our world now called Silicon
Mary and her daughters Ellen and Sarah are interred at the Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga with headstones that honor John Brown.
--submitted by Jean Libby, Allies for Freedom