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.
Renehan, Edward J., Jr. The Secret Six: The True Tale of the Men Who Conspired with John Brown. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.
[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.
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), 179.
Five days before Christmas, 1858, John Brown led his men on a raid into Missouri during which the homes of two slave owners were plundered. One of the slaveowners was executed - shot in the head. Eleven slaves were liberated. Brown also liberated several wagons, many horses and mules, five guns, and nearly $100 in cash. The Missouri General Assembly condemned the incursion and suggested the possibility of violent retaliation. Moderate free-state Kansas such as Charles Robinson and George Washington Brown of the Lawrence Herald of Freedom criticized Brown's action, saying that it invited the resurgence of border war by giving Missourians an excuse to invade and terrorize free-state communities under cloak of searching for stolen property. The governor of Missouri offered $75 for Brown's capture. And President Buchanan was so enraged that he personally put a $250 price on Brown's head. (Brown, in turn, mockingly offered a reward of $2.50 for Buchanan's capture.) Back East, the unpredictable Gerrit Smith surprised his wife by being delighted with the news of Brown's activity.