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John Brown's Early Years

Bleeding Kansas
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Birthplace

 

John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut on May 9, 1800. He was the fourth of eight children of Owen Brown and Ruth Mills and he was the grandson of Capt. John Brown. When Brown was five years old his family moved to Hudson, Ohio. It was here where he spent his childhood until the age of 16, when Brown left his family and went to Prep School in Plainfield Massachusetts. He stayed there brefly before transferring to the Morris Academy in Litchfield, Connecticut. At the Academy Brown aspired to be a congregational minister, but after a shortage of money and an inflammation of his eye, Brown was forced to leave the Academy and return back to Hudson Ohio. At the age of 20 John Brown married Dianthe Lusk, and thirteen months later they had their first child. He moved the family New Richmond, Pennsylvania and bought a 200 acre piece of land and built a tannery. In the early 1830's John Brown lost his wife and two children to illness. He remarried soon after and moved his family to Franklin Mill's (Kent), Ohio. Over the next number of years Brown experienced a lot of debt and economic hardships. In 1837, after the murder of Elijah P. Lovejoy John Brown publicly vowed, "“Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!”