ALS, John Brown to Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, 1858

75. John Brown.
Letter to Franklin B. Sanborn, Brooklyn, February 26, 1858.
From Franklin Benjamin Sanborn Papers, CFPL Vault Collection.


John Brown—who spent much of his time in 1857 and 1858 traveling to raise money to arm and train his abolitionist army—here writes Sanborn from Brooklyn.  He asks for books for his militia—inspiring biographies ("coppies of Plutark's lives, Irvings life of Washington; best written life of Napoleon")—and printed items of a more practical nature (maps and statistics).  He also requests a hundred pieces of white cotton drilling for a purpose he will "hereafter explain" and urges Sanborn to recommend people who might work as "Agents in different parts."

A note by a previous owner on the reverse of the letter explains that Brown's (highly collectible) signature was cut out to send to Europe.


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