Lewis Sheridan Leary (Villard, 1910)

Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 685-86.
Lewis Sheridan Leary, colored, left a wife and a six months old child at Oberlin, to go to Harper’s Ferry. The latter was subsequently educated by James Redpath and Wendell Phillips; the widow, now Mrs. Mary Leary Langston, is still a resident of Lawrence, Kansas. Leary was descended from an Irishman, Jeremiah O’Leary, who fought in the Revolution under General Nathanael Greene, and married a woman of mixed blood, partly negro, partly of that Croatan Indian stock of North Carolina, which is believed by some to be lineally descended from the “lost colonists” left by John White on Roanoke Island in 1587. Leary, like his father, was a saddler and harness-maker. In 1857 he went to Oberlin to live, marrying there, and making the acquaintance of John Brown in Cleveland. He survived his terrible wounds for eight hours, during which he was well treated and able to send messages to his family. He is reported as saying: “I am ready to die.” His wife was in ignorance of his object when he left home. Leary was born at Fayetteville, North Carolina, March 17, 1835, and was therefore in his twenty-fifth year when killed.
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