The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Currents

October 15, 2011

The John Brown affair

Abolitionist who led the raid on Harpers Ferry visited county, had sons who found refuge here

One hundred fifty-two years ago this evening, one of the most fascinating persons who walked on Ashtabula County soil led a raid on the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

His name was John Brown, a frequent visitor to Ashtabula County as a result his friendship with several key leaders of the abolitionist movement here and the home of his son, John Brown Jr., being in the community. John Jr. studied at Grand River Institute (Academy) in the 1840s, while his father lived in Hudson. While a student at Grand River, John Jr. met his future wife, Wealthy Hotchkiss, whom he married in 1848. Wealthy was the sister of Eunica Hotchkiss, who would marry E.A. Fobes, a Wayne Township farmer with room to spare in his barn at the corner of McClelland and Hayes roads.

And so it was that the weapons used in Harpers Ferry affair were stored in the haymow of the Fobes barn. Packed in wooden boxes marked “fence castings,” the supplies for the insurrection arrived in Conneaut by rail in the winter of  1859. 
“Owing to bad roads, I have delay in moving the freight, and it is all yet at the Depot at C(onneaut),” John Brown Jr., wrote from Lindenville, Ashtabula County, Feb. 13, 1858. “I yesterday read your letters to the (Mr.) King and to Mr. Hosington, who were much gratified.”
John Jr. was writing to his father, a.ka. Isaac Smith, who spent a portion of the winter holed up at the home of Horace Lindsley. Lindsley lived on Creek Road in West Andover and was sympathetic to Brown’s militant approach to dealing with the slavery issue.
The stash of weapons entrusted to the care of John Jr. was impressive and, had they been discovered, would have been damning for the men handled them. There were 200 Sharp’s rifles and 200 pistols, in addition to 58 powder flasks, 10 kegs of gunpowder and more than 400 spears, swords and bayonets. Some of the spears were allegedly made in a blacksmith’s shop in Wick, a Wayne Township ghost town.

Text Only
Currents
  • Historic Kirtland Nativity Exhibit Nativity exhibit to open in Kirtland

    Volunteers are still busy putting up more than 600 Nativity scenes for the nationally acclaimed exhibit at Historic Kirtland in preparation for the formal opening on Friday. A lighting celebration and musical program will begin 6 p.m. Friday. Nativity sets representing countries and cultures from around the world will fill the Visitors Center and the one-room schoolhouse located next to the center. The theme of the 11th annual exhibit is “Unto Us A Son Is Given.” Admission is free and open to the public. Historic Kirtland is located at 7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road, just off Route 306 south of I-90.

    November 27, 2013 2 Photos

  • newspaper bicent.jpg Odd Tales of Ashtabula County

    Twins were pretty rare in Williamsfield Township, so when Correne Cutlip delivered twin girls on April 22, 1939, her husband, Bob, started calling neighbors and relatives with the good news and a plea for help: they would need twice as much of everything.

    December 9, 2012 1 Photo

  • axis salley and sister.jpg Guilty of treason!

    She was a lonely child, precocious, some said; others said she was simply aloof. Two things for certain, she was beautiful — neighbors often remarked on her black curls — and odd, especially by  the standards that existed in Conneaut in 1916.

    November 25, 2012 2 Photos

  • OHAST108.jpg Those 10 Calaway girls

     In an era when many couples are happy to dote on just one offspring and most U.S. McMansions have at least 2.5 bathrooms, the story of the Calaway sisters is amazing.

    August 5, 2012 3 Photos

  • Hewitt.jpg The music got him 'All stirred up inside

    Floyd Hewitt loved to listen to the radio, especially that cool jazzy music that got him “all stirred up inside.”

     

    July 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • Burton's house.jpg The romantic bachelor

    The brass plate is partially obscured by the July grass that grows about the stone substrate.

    July 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • Smith Marine Museum Owen.jpg ‘Perfectly fearless’

    Second of a two-part series on the Big Blow of November 1913

    July 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • cef Davidson launch.jpg Launching an industry

    Shortly after midnight on Sept. 26, 1941, German  U- boat No. 203 fired four torpedoes into convoy HG-73 north of the Azores.

    June 17, 2012 2 Photos

  • bicen whitla.jpg Ransom for an attorney’s little boy

    Tony Muscarelli, 13, and Willie Madden, 12, were walking down Depot Street, Ashtabula, on the evening of March 20, 1909, when a 30-year-old man accosted them from across the street.

    June 10, 2012 1 Photo

  • cdf bicent run 2.jpg Jumbo legend

    Kelsey’s Run rambles through the flatlands of Conneaut Township Park, carving graceful curves in the grassy area just north of Lake Road and slipping quietly under the two stone bridges in its final stretch toward Lake Erie.

    June 3, 2012 1 Photo

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Andover Fire 1955
Carferry Ashtabula
AP Video