Anderson, Jeremiah Goldsmith

Life Span
Full name
Jeremiah Goldsmith Anderson
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
John Anderson (father), Jacob Westfall (maternal grandfather)
Farmer or Planter
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
Other Affiliations
Abolitionists (Anti-Slavery Society)
US military (Pre-Civil War)

Jeremiah Goldsmith Anderson (Villard, 1910)

Jeremiah Goldsmith Anderson was born April 17, 1833, in Indiana, and was therefore in his twenty-seventh year when killed at Harper's Ferry. He was the son of John Anderson, and was the grandson of slaveholders; his maternal grandfather, Colonel Jacob Westfall, of Tygert Valley, Virginia, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War; he went to school at Galesburg, Illinois, and Kossuth, Iowa; was a peddler, farmer, and employee of a saw-mill, before emigrating to Kansas in August, 1857, where he settled on the Little Osage, Bourbon County, a mile from Fort Bain. He was twice arrested by proslaveryites, and for ten weeks imprisoned at Fort Scott; he then became a lieutenant of Captain Montgomery, and was with him in the attack on Captain Anderson's troop of the First U. S. Cavalry. He also witnessed the murder on his own doorstep of a Mr. Denton by Border Ruffians. He was with John Brown on the slave raid into Missouri, and thereafter followed Brown's fortunes. Writing July 5, 1859, of his determination to continue to fight for freedom, he said: "Millions of fellow-beings require it of us; their cries for help go out to the universe daily and hourly. Whose duty is it to help them? Is it yours? Is it mine? It is every man's, but how few there are to help. But there are a few who dare to answer this call, and dare to answer it in a manner that will make this land of liberty and equality shake to the centre."
Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 681-82.
How to Cite This Page: "Anderson, Jeremiah Goldsmith," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,