William Thompson, son of Roswell Thompson, was born in August, 1833, and was killed October 17, 1859. He married Mary Ann brown, a neighbor, but no relation of the Brown family. He had no hesitation as to where his duty lay when the call came to help free the slaves. He started for Kansas in 1856, but turned back on meeting the Brown sons, who returned to North Elba in the fall of that year. He was full of fun and good nature, and bore himself unflinchingly when face to face with death. Both William Thompson and his brother Dauphin went to Harper’s Ferry without being urged and purely from a sense of right and duty to a great cause.
Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 683.