Edward J. Renehan, Jr., The Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997), 179.
Five days before Christmas, 1858, John Brown led his men on a raid into Missouri during which the homes of two slave owners were plundered. One of the slaveowners was executed - shot in the head. Eleven slaves were liberated. Brown also liberated several wagons, many horses and mules, five guns, and nearly $100 in cash. The Missouri General Assembly condemned the incursion and suggested the possibility of violent retaliation. Moderate free-state Kansas such as Charles Robinson and George Washington Brown of the Lawrence Herald of Freedom criticized Brown's action, saying that it invited the resurgence of border war by giving Missourians an excuse to invade and terrorize free-state communities under cloak of searching for stolen property. The governor of Missouri offered $75 for Brown's capture. And President Buchanan was so enraged that he personally put a $250 price on Brown's head. (Brown, in turn, mockingly offered a reward of $2.50 for Buchanan's capture.) Back East, the unpredictable Gerrit Smith surprised his wife by being delighted with the news of Brown's activity.