William H. Leeman, born March 20, 1839, and killed on October 17, 1859, the youngest of the raiders, had early left home, being of a rather wild disposition. Owen Brown found him hard to control at Springdale. Mrs. Annie Brown Adams writes of him: “He was only a boy. He smoked a good deal and drank sometimes; but perhaps people would not think that so very wicked now. He was very handsome and very attractive.” Educated in the public schools of Saco and Hallowell, Maine, he worked in a shoe-factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts, at the age of fourteen. In 1856 he entered Kansas with the second Massachusetts colony of that year, and became a member of John Brown’s “Volunteer Regulars” September 9, 1856. He fought well at Osawatomie, when but seventeen years old. George B. Gill says of him that he had “a good intellect with great ingenuity.”
Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 685.