Leary, Lewis Sheridan

Leary was one of three black residents of Oberlin, Ohio who died because of their participation in John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. Albert Hazlett, one of John Brown's white raiders, was captured in Carlisle shortly after the failed assault on the federal arsenal.
Life Span
    Full name
    Lewis Sheridan Leary
    Place of Birth
    Burial Place
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Sectional choice
    Slave State
    No. of Spouses
    No. of Children

    Jeremiah O'Leary (father), Mary Leary Langston (wife)

    Other Occupation
    Relation to Slavery
    Free black
    Other Affiliations
    Abolitionists (Anti-Slavery Society)

    Lewis Sheridan Leary (Villard, 1910)

    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.
    Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 685-86.
    Chicago Style Entry Link
    "The Five Brave Negroes with John Brown at Harpers Ferry." Negro History Bulletin 27, no. 7 (1964): 164-169. view record
    How to Cite This Page: "Leary, Lewis Sheridan," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/6070.