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"The world needed John Brown and John Brown came, and time will do him justice." Frederick Douglass (1886)

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Friday, March 20, 2020

From "Santa Fe Trail" to "The Good Lord Bird": Reflections of a John Brown Descendant

The author of this essay is Marty Brown, a descendant of John Brown through his son Jason. She was born in Nigeria and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and Olympia, Washington. She lives in Portland, Oregon.  I am grateful that she was willing to share it on this blog--LD

In 1941 my distant cousin, Nellie Groves, filed suit against Warner Brothers Pictures for their depiction of John Brown in the movie “Santa Fe Trail.” A music teacher and violinist who once had a vaudeville act, she was used to being billed as “the granddaughter of John Brown, the Liberator, Martyr of Harpers Ferry,” and she was righteously appalled by the film’s depiction of her grandfather as a bloodthirsty, maniacal murderer. She claimed that it had caused damage to her reputation as a performer. The judge threw out her suit without a trial. She was in her early fifties then, about the same age that I am now.

I thought of Nellie Groves the other day, when I clicked on a fluff piece in my news feed heralding a forthcoming film adaptation of James McBride’s 2013 satirical novel, The Good Lord Bird. It will run as a miniseries on the SHOWTIME channel, produced by and improbably starring Ethan Hawke as my great-great-great-great grandfather, John Brown, the Liberator, Martyr of Harper’s Ferry.

In 1941, the living memory of the Civil War was close to dying out. John Brown’s cultural capital was sinking, but his name still had the power to stir patriotic feeling. As far as Nellie Groves understood, John Brown was an American hero, a man of principle who lived and died to purge our republic of its original sin. She was horrified not just by the negative portrayal of his character, but also by the way in which the movie wantonly discarded the known facts.
Warner Brothers, through the medium of the motion picture Santa Fe Trail has made a vicious attack upon my grandfather. They called him an enemy of mankind, a murderer, and a vicious killer. They besmirched his name by showing episodes which never occurred, and all through the picture are distortions of the truth. They misrepresent and vilify the character of a nation’s hero.
Nellie Groves’ lawsuit made the papers and she received letters of support, including one from a medical doctor in Los Angeles who wrote:
It is an outrage, unbridled license and ruthless violation of tradition the way these low class Jews and others sacrifice right, honor and common decency and respect merely for box office returns. And these Jews control the movies... Some of these low Jews would even make Lincoln a ruthless renegade, as they have John Brown, if they thought they could get away with it.
He went on to rhapsodize about his visits to John Brown’s grave, “hallowed in the memory of all old-timers and historians that believe in right and justice and honor where honor is due.”

This was 1941, the same year that hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were murdered in ghettos and concentration camps and pogroms all over Europe, the same year that the gas ovens went into operation at Auschwitz. I have to wonder how John Brown’s granddaughter felt about the doctor’s letter.

*  *  *

Nellie Groves was born in 1878, nearly two decades after John Brown’s execution for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia for his raid on Harper’s Ferry. She never knew him. Her father was Salmon Brown, a son of John by his second wife. At the age of seventeen, Salmon was among the band of men who attacked a proslavery settlement near Osawatomie, Kansas, and killed the men with broadswords during the Kansas-Missouri border wars of the 1850s. That event, which came to be known as the “Pottawatomie Massacre,” marks the most infamous episode of John Brown’s infamous career. Even those historians who are sympathetic to my ancestor politely turn their eyes away from that night in 1856, clear their throats, and back out slowly from the room.

Young Salmon Brown
If Salmon ever talked about this chapter of his life with his daughter, he might have told her that the attack on that settlement on Pottawatomie Creek was a preemptive strike in response to a credible threat against their lives. He might have driven home the point that they were actively at war with the proslavery mobs and border ruffians who had long been conducting a campaign of terror against the free state settlers, and who had just three nights before sacked the seat of their legitimate provisional territorial government at Lawrence.

Where does murder end and war begin? Who gets to decide? For as long as John Brown’s body has been moldering, Americans have been divided as to the nature of his truth.

Salmon Brown in later life
On May 10, 1919, Salmon Brown put a gun to his head and fired a fatal shot. He’d been bedridden for years and wanted out. It happened in an old Portland foursquare in the Montavilla neighborhood, just off what is now 82nd Avenue, or Highway 213. The house still stands, much as it stood then. A 1913 photograph from Outlook magazine shows him standing out front of it in his garden, leaning on a shovel, white beard to his navel. The garden has long since been paved over to make way for a street.  There’s a Walgreen’s drugstore right around the corner.

With Salmon Brown's suicide in 1919, the last eyewitness and the living memory of what happened that night on Pottawatomie Creek vanished forever from the earth.

Salmon Brown--shepherd, butcher, meat packer, abolitionist, father of ten children, husband to Abigail--was buried with fanfare in the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery on a hill in southwest Portland. The grave is still there, beside the graves of Abigail, and Nellie’s brother, John Brown III, DDS, a dentist with a drug habit whose marital problems played out publicly in the pages of the Oregon Journal.

Salmon Brown's house today
The house where Salmon ended his life is about five miles from where I live today, on the other side of Mount Tabor, in east Portland. My neighborhood was developed in the 1920s, a few years after Salmon’s suicide, carved out of small orchards and truck farms. I live along a row of streets named for Civil War heroes: Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Caruthers. There is no Brown Street.

More than a hundred years have passed since that gunshot rang out, and nobody much remembers Salmon Brown. The house where he ended his life was for sale the last time I drove past. There is no plaque, no historical marker. It's just a rundown Portland foursquare, too close to 82nd, on a slow march toward the wrecking ball.

Like Nellie Groves, I never met John Brown. I’m every bit as biased as she was, just as righteously defensive about his legacy. I’ve been known to write letters to editors, correcting the record. Unlike Nellie Groves, I’ve long been accustomed to the mischaracterizations, misunderstandings, and factually incorrect assertions that abound in both popular culture and scholarly literature. He’s a historical figure, fair game for all confabulators. The sinister fiction of “Santa Fe Trail” was novel and shocking to Nellie Groves in 1941. For me, having grown up in the late twentieth century, it’s standard fare.

Curry's famous John Brown mural, Topeka, Kan.
(Lawrence Journal-World, 2009)
When I was a child, my parents stood me in front of the famous John Steuart Curry mural in the rotunda of the Kansas State House to snap a photograph. I looked up at the larger-than-life image of my forebear, with a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other, a pistol on his right hip and sword on the left, and what I mostly felt was fear. If all you know about John Brown comes from the Curry mural and a short paragraph in a history book, it’s easy to believe that he was crazy--in a hearing-voices, speaking-in-tongues, cold-blooded-killer kind of way.

John Brown definitely had issues. He suffered from bouts of depression, and may have been obsessive. He was at least obsessed with ending slavery in America. He was zealous in his conviction that slavery was a grievous moral wrong, and after running stations on the Underground Railroad for most of his life, he set out in his fifties to take decisive action. It takes a kind of madness to believe that your individual actions can bring down a long-established tyrannical state like southern slavery, to stand up against the lies of an immoral system and insist upon the truth.

The Good Lord Bird gave me a perspective I didn’t have before on the black experience of the John Brown myth. I read it, and then I forgot about it, and then I saw that article about the miniseries, and felt vaguely sick.

I didn’t mind McBride’s book when it first came out. He did some research, and clearly had affection for the characters he wrote. I didn’t once confuse those characters with my ancestors. I read the book as a parody, satire, farce, a send-up of all the ridiculous fictions about John Brown, from “Santa Fe Trail” to God’s Angry Man. It was only when my bookish friends began to talk about it that I grew worried. Did they believe that these characters were based on people? That the plot was rooted in history? It’s fiction! I wanted to shout, and more than fiction, parody! Whatever ties to the truth McBride started out with, he cut them loose and let his story float away from fact, untethered and buoyant as a hot air balloon.

"Santa Fe Trail's" bizarre John Brown (Raymond
Massey) typified 20th century assumptions about the
abolitionist, especially in the white community
The Good Lord Bird gave me a perspective I didn’t have before on the black experience of the John Brown myth. I read it, and then I forgot about it, and then I saw that article about the miniseries, and felt vaguely sick.

Inured by long exposure to the myth of John Brown’s insanity, I can easily enough accept that millions viewers will now have reason to believe he was a bible-thumping lunatic with a good heart who looked like Ethan Hawke. I find it harder to bring that same sense of resignation to the fictional depictions of John Brown’s children, maybe because they’re closer to me in blood, maybe because in a distant sense I count myself among them.

Out of all possible tellings of the John Brown story, that The Good Lord Bird should be the basis of the only contemporary film version enlists from me the sort of indignation that spills from the pages of Nellie Grove’s lawsuit against Warner Brothers Pictures. Novels are soon forgotten, even when they win the National Book Award, but miniseries stream forever on the internet. Worse than that, they reach large audiences. McBride wrote a fanciful tale, full of made up details, like the notion that the Brown boys were hard-drinking outlaws, when in fact they were all staunch temperance men. But it’s McBride’s caricature of Frederick, John Brown’s youngest son by Dianthe Lusk, that really gets me.
Ethan Hawke as John Brown in
SHOWTIME's "Good Lord Bird"
McBride depicts Frederick as a half-wit, an idiot, a clown. He’s not the first writer to do so, and it always gets under my skin. I want SHOWTIME subscribers to know that Frederick was a perfectly intelligent young man. He suffered periodically from an unknown illness that sounds a lot like what we might call bipolar disorder. He wrote cogent letters in a steady hand to a girl he was courting in Ohio. He was twenty-five years old when he was shot through the heart by the Reverend Martin White where he stood in the middle of a Kansas road, near his uncle’s cabin. He was killed for no other reason than that he was a Brown, killed in retaliation for the “Pottawatomie Massacre.”

Frederick was on Pottawatomie Creek that night, but he didn’t wield a sword. Whether he was keeping watch or couldn’t stomach the task, we’ll never know. Witnesses agree that Frederick waited in the road while others carried out the bloody deeds. The retaliatory killing of Frederick is a bitter irony.  He led a painful, struggle-filled life, and paid with his life for his complicity. Hasn’t he paid his dues? Apparently not. Apparently the facts of his sad life must also be distorted and subjected to parody on the Showtime channel.

If you know a little something about John Brown, the odds are good that your opinion is already fixed and unlikely to be moved one way or the other by a recitation of facts. He’s a good example of a polarizing figure, a symbol of all that divides us, a convenient object for a nation’s displaced hopes and fears. Southern propagandists made him a cartoon villain, and northern propagandists made him a cartoon saint. The difference then, as now, is that one side was on the right side of history. One side was on the side of liberty and truth.

The United States wasn’t very united in 1859 on the day of John Brown’s execution, and it isn’t very united now, in the age of President Trump. Like Nellie Groves, I want to believe that facts still matter, but maybe they never did. We seem increasingly unable as a people to distinguish truth from fiction. Maybe we never could.

I can’t stop SHOWTIME from making their miniseries. I’ll probably watch it.  It will give me a convenient object on which to displace my rage and fear. I’m glad for Nellie Groves’ sake that she never lived to see it.--Marty Brown

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Rich Smyth's Where Are They Now? Pottawtomie Creek, Part 2

Weiner's Gravesite Unknown
Theodore Weiner, who accompanied John Brown on the fateful night at Pottawatomie Creek, was an immigrant from Poland arriving in the United States with his brother Herman.  In 1855, he agreed to go into business with partners running a merchandise store in Kansas. Theodore and his brother put up most of the money for the store and supplies with the other partners taking shares. Proslavery threats started immediately and eventually his store was burned.  Weiner also participated with Brown in the encounter known as the Battle of Black Jack on June 2, 1856. 
“Weiner's subsequent career was not remarkably eventful; he served in the army for a time during the Civil War and died in 1906. His brother Herman later opened up a clothing store on the northwest corner of Main and Market Streets in St. Louis. His remains are interred in the Jewish cemetery at St. Louis.”1  Death certificates were not mandatory until 1911 in St. Louis. Unfortunately, an exhaustive search on my part proved unable to locate Weiner’s burial.                                                                
The Testimony of James Harris:
After old man Brown and his son went into the house with me, old man Brown asked Mr. Sherman to go out with him, and Mr. Sherman then went out with old Mr. Brown, and another man came into the house in Brown's place. I heard nothing more for about fifteen minutes. Two of the northern army, as they styled themselves, stayed in with us until we heard a cap burst; and then these two men left. That morning about ten o'clock I found William Sherman dead in the creek near my house. I was looking for Mr. Sherman, as he had not come back, I thought he had been murdered. I took Mr. William Sherman out of the creek and examined him. Mr. Whiteman was with me. Sherman's skull was split open in two places and some of his brains was washed out by the water. A large hole was cut in his breast, and his left hand was cut off except a little piece of skin on one side. We buried him.2
James Harris filed an affidavit “charging John Brown with stealing from him a horse, saddle, bridle and gun on the night of the Sherman murder, and, significantly, because of threats against his life, with forcing him to abandon his remaining property and to seek safety elsewhere. A neighbor, Minerva Selby of Anderson county, made affidavit to the losses saying that Harris came the next day and told of the robbery and murder, and Selby confirmed the charge of threats against Harris' life.”3 Martin White also made an affidavit concerning the problem of Harris' testimony:
Know that the petitioner was greatly alarmed; seemed to apprehend danger from the murderers of Sherman, as the petitioner was at the premises of Sherman when the act [murder] was committed. The petitioner expressed his fears of being killed to prevent his divulging the murder. Believe he was in danger of being murdered. The safety of himself and family required him to leave his home.4
After the incident on Pottawatomie Creek, Harris fled the area and there is little information on him.  The burial site of James Harris is unknown.

Mahala Childress Doyle was pregnant at the time of the attack (her yet unborn child was May Doyle Saunders) and afterward the family returned to Chattanooga, Tennessee in November 1856. This was Mahala’s original home with James before the couple had moved to Franklin County, Kansas Territory, where they had obtained a land grant for 160 acres.  She remained in Chattanooga until 1863 when the town was shelled by Union forces. Mahala then moved to Chickamauga, where she resided in the St. Elmo district in the southernmost part of Hamilton County, within the valley of Lookout Mountain.
 Besides her husband James, their two sons William and Drury were killed by Brown’s men in the Pottawatomie raid.  Along with Mahala and baby May, the Doyles had other children: John (1838-1922), who was spared by John Brown on the night of the attack; Mary (1834-1865); James (1845-?); Charles (1847-1865); Henry J. (1851-?); and Flora Jane (1853-?).5  One source has Mahala dying sometime between 1890 and 1895, and being buried in the area of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Another date, allegedly transcribed from a Doyle family Bible, fixes her death as January 1, 1886 [see illustration below].

Record in Doyle family Bible found in W. R. Scott's trunk in home
of Ira Hawkins, Atlanta, mid-20th century. Image and
information courtesy of Find A Grave contributor Mitzi Yates.

John Charles Doyle was sixteen years-old when his mother plead with Brown not to take him on the night of the Pottawatomie raid. He returned to Tennessee with his mother and the rest of the family. He farmed and worked as a stagecoach driver. At the beginning of the Civil War on June 17, 1861, John enlisted in the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry in Knoxville. He served as a teamster. He paroled out of service in April 1865 and moved to Rome, Georgia.6
John C. Doyle is buried in the Confederate Cemetery, Chattanooga,
Tenn. Image courtesy of Find A Grave contributor Mitzi P. Freeman
In 1867, he married Cleopatra Ann Clowdis (1839-1926).  They had two children, Mark A. and May D. While living in Georgia, John returned to farming. John and Cleopatra moved back to Chattanooga in 1896. He died on December 29, 1922 at the age of eighty-four at his home on East 10th Street. John was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Chattanooga. Cleopatra died on July 4, 1926 and was buried with her husband.7

Jerome Glanville was the man who was stopping at Dutch Henry's on the night of the raid and was taken out of the house and interrogated along with James Harris, with whom he was staying along with some other travelers. Upon examination by John Brown, Glanville, Harris, and the others were left alone, while Brown and his men removed William Sherman, one of the Pottawatomie conspirators.  Sherman was killed while the others remained unharmed in the Harris cabin on Dutch Henry’s land.8  
The anti-Brown historian James Malin, believing some accounts that Glanville was shot in the back and killed after the incident, strongly suggested that the attackers were Brown’s associates.  However, even Malin had to admit that by the time of the attack on Glanville (Nov. 1856), Brown had already left Kansas heading eastward.  While both proslavery and free state papers blamed Glanville’s shooting on each other, it may just as likely have been an attempted robbery by four thugs.  Even if his attackers were free state men as Glanville afterward believed, he had no real basis in his claim that he had been attacked by a part of “Brown’s thieves.”  Since Malin seems to have preferred the anti-Brown press, it is worth noting that the proslavery Westport [Missouri] Star of the Empire reported Glanville’s shooting on November 8, 1856 and stated that the wounded man was recovering from the shooting.9  

This may have been mistaken, or it may be that Glanville eventually died from his wound afterward.  Regardless, while Glanville, a Virginian, was present at the scene of the Pottawatomie raid, his life was spared by John Brown along with other proslavery visitors that were not complicit in proslavery terrorism.  Beyond this fact, the matter of Glanville’s shooting may be a secondary point of interest to Brown students since, undoubtedly, the Old Man and his sons were neither involved nor interested in what befell him.

Where is Glanville buried? It appears that his remains were interred in the Westport Burial Ground near Kansas City, Missouri which may no longer be extant. An article in the Kansas City Star, May 11, 1902, describes the cemetery as being “in a grove of locust trees in old Westport they rest, but few of the friends remain to trace out their names. Not a stone stands as those friends placed them and the chisel marks will be beyond tracing in a few more years."

The story goes on to describe the location: "The old Westport graveyard covers a lot about 200 feet square. On one side is the land owned by W. B. THAYER and on the other that of Mrs. Mary C. VAN VOORHIS. A broken rail fence runs through the graveyard and underbrush and weeds hide the stones so that one may be fifty feet from the spot and to see that it is a burial ground. West of the fence is a lot surrounded by a rough stone with about 4 feet high and 2 feet thick. This is a burial place of the Wornalls, a name old in Westport history. Three headstones are standing, cut in the simple style of fifty years ago. On one is the inscription, "C. Thomas Wornall. Died May 26? 1849?, Aged 24 years, 1 month, 20 D'ys.

Another reads: “Sacred to the memory of Matilda A. Wornall, wife of John H. Wornall. Born in Taylorsville, KY., died June 25, 1851?, aged 24 years." The third has the inscription, "Sacred to the memory of Judith A. WORNALL, wife of Rich'd WORNALL, born in Buckingham, VA. Died July 2, 1849, aged 48 years." Inside the enclosure is a locust tree with a trunk nearly 2 feet through and off shoots fill the rest of the space, except where someone has thrown an old rocking chair.

The newspaper recounts some of burials including that of Glanville’s:
"One stone, probably among the last placed in the ground, shows the feeling existing in the years immediately before the Civil War. The East and South were still debating the question of extension of slavery and few dreamed that the people of the United States would be divided into opposing armies when Jerome H. Glanville was killed in what might be called a battle. The stone placed over Glanville's body is now in two pieces among the woods and there is nothing to indicate where the grave was. This much of the inscription can be deciphered:
To the Memory of
Born April 11, 1825 and
Was murdered by four Yankee Abolitionists on Bull Creek in
_ _ _ _ _ s T _ _ _ _ _ ory"
"Bull Creek is about 12 miles from the old burial ground, in what was then Kansas territory. Glanville was [31] years old when the Kansans killed him in one of the many skirmishes that were going on for years before the rest of the nation was in arms. It is possible that in the carving of that stone the memory of poor Jerome Glanville was secondary to the desire not to forget the "murdering Yankee abolitionists." From the hillside where the slab lies may be seen boys shouting at the ball game. To them abolitionists and pro-slavery men of Kansas and Missouri are associated with a few paragraphs in the school history."
But the story does not end there. An article by Malin, published in the Journal of the Kansas Historical Society by James C. Malin, states “on the afternoon of July 27, 1904, while walking across a vacant lot at Penn street between Forty-first and Forty-second streets in Kansas City, Mo. (south of old Westport), one W. H. Gibbens noticed a fragment of stone. It was inscribed: "To the memory of Jerome H. Glanville; born 1825, murdered by four Yankee Abolitionists on Bull creek, in . . . [?]" The final part of the inscription was broken off.”10
 How did the marker come to be laying in a lot in downtown Kansas City? By the turn of the 20th century, the Old Westport Cemetery was being encroached upon by the expanding downtown area. The cemetery itself had fallen into disrepair. Those with means removed the bodies of loved ones or family to other cemeteries. In 1915, the Badger Lumber Company bought the cemetery land and graded away the land without regard for remaining markers or bodies.  The spot where Gibbens found Glanville’s marker is only about 1 ½ blocks from the location of the former Westport Cemetery. 

Glanville’s remains may still be buried in this area of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. His broken marker was found two blocks away from the old Westport Cemetery at the corner of Pennsylvania and Archibald [see map below]. 

Source: Diane Euston, "Two former cemeteries tell a story of the past,"
Martin City Telegraph,  Sept. 2, 2019 (

William Sherman, one of those killed by Brown’s men at Pottawatomie in May 1856, was buried on the claim of his brother Henry, land that is now owned by the Plaisted family. The following information was supplied to me by Cameron Mott who, along with Bob Marsh, has been an invaluable resource in my researching the location of those killed at Pottawatomie Creek and sharing their information.

Mott has stated: “The Franklin County Historical Society has a map which I believe was drawn by Homer White as described by a lifelong Lane area resident and local historian ‘Bus’ Cornelius, showing the locations of two graves marked with wooden headstones as witnessed in the 1920’s.”11  Today the headstones are gone, the location being within the garden of the current owner's property.

Note and sketch provided to me that marks the possible location of the burial site 
of William Sherman in Lane, Kansas

The handwritten note at the bottom of the map above states that the two graves contain the bodies of William Sherman and “probably Allen Wilkinson,” although researcher Cameron Mott believes the other grave is that of Peter Sherman, brother of William and Henry.12
Henry Sherman ("Dutch Henry") was German, proslavery and a bachelor like his brothers. He was shot on March 2, 1857, while traveling the public highway, allegedly by two Free-state men; Argent “Archie” Cansdell and James H. Holmes. Sherman was taken to the home of William Saling where he died on March 4. He was buried the next day.13  His grave has been described in 1870 as one of three unmarked graves south of, but nearby, Lane, Kansas. The other graves supposedly contain "a negro" and John G. Morse.  John G. Morse was a store owner near the Dutch Henry Crossing.14

Argent “Archie” Cansdell, the suspected triggerman in the shooting of Henry Sherman, applied for land grants in Kansas on June 1, 1860, with Lambert S. Reynolds; 160 acres at SW ¼, section 26 in Lyon County, Kansas and on June 1st 1874, NW ¼, section 18, in Montgomery County, Kansas.15

In the Civil War he served with Company C, 9th Cavalry in Kansas, during which he was court marshaled and convicted for horse stealing.  At the end of his enlistment he was discharged as a corporal.

According to the 1880 census, by then Cansdell had moved to southern Kansas (Willow Springs, Douglas County), where he continued to farm. He married Susan Caroline Curzan in 1865 and they had six children; Ellen L (1866-?), John A. (1867- 1928), Katie (1872-?), Blanche (1874-?), Charles W. (1878-?) and Stella (1880-?).  It appears that two of his sons, John A. and Charles W., moved to Oklahoma where they died in 1928 and 1963, respectively.

Argent was born in England in 1837 and died on November 17, 1898, and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Block 8, Lot 12, Coffeyville, Kansas.16  His obituary was carried in The Coffeyville Weekly Journal on November 25, 1898:
A. Cansdell, an old soldier 62 years old, died at his home twenty five mile southeast of the city Thursday and was interred in Elmwood cemetery Friday afternoon. Mr. Cansdell was well known in this section and was a member of the G[rand] A[rmy] [of the] R[epublic] post in Coffeyville. He was a brother-in-law of W. R. Cruzan, the shoemaker, and was highly respected and esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances Mr. Cansdell came to Kansas in 1855 and was a member of company C, Ninth Kansas cavalry. The G. A. R. conducted the funeral services. He leaves a wife and six children.
--Rich Smyth
        1 Leon Hühner, “Some Jewish Associates Of John Brown,” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, No. 23 (1915) :75. 
    2 Franklin B. Sanborn, ed., The Life and Letters of John Brown (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1891), 265-66.
       3 James C. Malin, “Identification of the Stranger at the Pottawatomie Massacre,” Kansas Historical Quarterly 9:1 (Feb.1940), 4.
       4 Ibid.
       5 Census records.
       6 Terry Siler, Second Lt. Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans, N. B. Forrest Camp #3, John Charles Doyle. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2xkbDMF. [Unfortunately, Siler wrongly claims that the Doyles were “murdered because they were from the South and were suspected slave owners.”  This is nonsense, bolstered only by tradition and prejudice. The Browns never so much as touched a person in Kansas because they were Southerners or because they were slaveholders.  The Doyles were conspirators and thugs, and if they were not domestic terrorists, they were aiding and abetting domestic terrorism in the Kansas territory.--LD]  
       7 Ibid.
     8 James C. Malin, John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six (New York: Haskell House Publishers, NY, 1942), 677.  Malin refers to the claim of James Christian, a proslavery Democrat in Kansas who claimed that Glanville told him that after the killings, John Brown lifted blood-stained hands in prayer. Christian also claimed that Glanville was later shot and killed for talking too much about the incident.  Kansas historian William Connelley put the lie to Christian’s claim, which actually was made long after the incident in the 1880s.  Christian claimed that Glanville and Harris, who were spared, were taken into Brown’s camp until the next morning, something that likewise did not take place. Christian’s allegations of Glanville’s testimony amounts to post-Reconstruction anti-Brown slander.  See William E. Connelley, John Brown (Topeka: Crane & Co., 1900), 203-04.

9 Malin, John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six, 680-82.
       10 Malin, “Identification of the Stranger at the Pottawatomie Massacre,” 6.
       11 Electronic communication from Cameron Mott to Rich Smyth, July 52017.
       12 Ibid.
       13 The shooting has been variously described as a robbery or an assassination.
       14 Malin , John Brown and the Legend of Fifty-Six, 736 and 751. According to Cameron Mott the primary source for Malin are circa 1870 articles from the Ottawa Journal in a scrapbook at the Kansas State Historical Society. The source was someone claiming to be a 63-year-old local from the Pottawatomie Creek area in 1856, whom the Journal only identified as "Cosmopolitan."  
       15 See "Argent Cansdell" in General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management website (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior).  Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2v3rZZj.  Thanks to Cameron Mott.
      16 Melissa Carter, City Clerk of the City of Coffeyville, provides information on the only Cansdell buried in Elmwood, as one J.A. Cansdell, with no date associated with the burial. A further check with the Cemetery Sexton received the following response: “That’s the same info I have for Elmwood, everything was lost in a fire years ago and theres not much to go on over there. J.A. is more than likely Argent.”