Francis Jackson Meriam was born November 17, 1837, at Framingham, Massachusetts, and died suddenly November 28, 1865, in New York City, after having served in the army as a captain in the Third South Carolina Colored Infantry. Erratic and unbalanced, he was forever urging wild schemes upon his superiors, and often attempting them. In an engagement under Grant he was severely wounded in the leg. Early in the war he married Minerva Caldwell, of Galena, Illinois. He was in Boston, coming from Canada, on the day of John Brown’s execution, but was finally induced by friends to go back to Canada. Mr. Sanborn has characterized Meriam as of “little judgment and in feeble health,” but “generous, brave, and devoted.”
Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1910), 685.