Owen Brown (abolitionist, born 1824)

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Owen Brown (November 4, 1824, Hudson, Ohio – January 8, 1889, Pasadena, California) was the third son of abolitionist John Brown. Owen fought with his father in Kansas and participated in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, escaping capture,[1] and then later served as an officer in the Union Army in the American Civil War.

He is used as narrator in Russell Banks' novel about John Brown, Cloudsplitter.

Owen Brown was the last surviving member of the raiding party; he died of pneumonia January 8, 1889 in Pasadena, California at the age of 64. Reportedly 2,000 mourners, equaling the entire population of Pasadena, marched in the funeral procession up to Little Roundtop Hill 34°13′3″N 118°9′37″W / 34.21750°N 118.16028°W / 34.21750; -118.16028 (34.217525, -118.160381).[2] Ten years later, a marker was placed at the grave site. It read: "Owen Brown, Son of John Brown, the Liberator, died Jan. 9, 1889." Two iron ornaments, a heavy hook on the left, and a 6" diameter ring on the right, were attached to eyelets in the marker and could be moved - symbolizing freedom from the shackles of slavery and rapture from mortal bounds. The marker mysteriously disappeared from the grave site in 2002, along with the concrete base and surrounding rail fencing, after the property on which it was located was sold. No legal action was taken. Photos of the monument are available on the web. In 2012, the missing gravestone was found a few hundred feet from the gravesite.[3]


Historical fiction[edit]

Seven Angry Men[edit]

Actor Jeffrey Hunter portrayed Owen in the 1955 film "Seven Angry Men'. The title refers to John Brown and his six grown sons, focusing mostly on the moral debate between Owen and his father.

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