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), 22.
[John Brown's] first wife was nineteen-year-old Dianthe Lusk, whom he married when he was twenty. Like him, she was solemn and puritanical. She was also a manic-depressive: sensitive, scared, easily tearful. Dianthe suffered at least one nervous breakdown and was afflicted with what a friend called "an almost constant blueness and melancholy." Some neighbors called her a madwomen. She was capable of silences that lasted for days, these interrupted by only the submissive "Yes, husband" that the domineering John Brown expected and got whenever he asked anything of her. Eight children arrived in rapid succession during the eleven years between 1821 and 1832. The six who survived would remember their mother as sad, their father as severe.