Letter written by John Brown in his jail cell a few days before his execution. The original letter was given to Mary Ann Brown at the time of her visit to her husband December 1, 1859. After his execution, Mrs. Brown sent the letter to Mrs. Stearns in a Bible. The letter reads: "Charlestown, Jefferson Co., Va., 29th Nov. 1859. Mrs George L Stearns, Boston, Mass. My Dear friend, No letter I have received since my imprisonment here, has given me more satisfaction, or comfort: than yours of the 8th inst. I am quite cheerful: & was never more happy. Have only time [to] write you a word. May God forever reward you & all yours. My love to All who love their neighbours. I have asked to be spared from having any mock; or hypocritical prayers made over me, when I am publicly murdered: & that my only religious attendants be poor little, dirty, ragged, bare headed & barefooted, Slave Boys; & Girls; Led by some old greyheaded, Slave Mother. Farewell. Farewell. Your Friend, John Brown."
Image courtesy of the West Virginia State Archives, John Brown/Boyd B. Stutler Collection
Lock of John Brown's hair. The tags read "Hair of John Brown of Ossawatomie, given to me by Mrs. Stearns, 1869 -L. Alexander," "John Brown's hair, cut off of his funeral by his daughter, given by her to Mrs. G.L. Stearns, by Mrs. Stearns to me, L.G.A."
Courtesy of the Medford Historical Society & Museum
View of the Stearns Estate and beyond that Medford from College Hill. The Stearns Estate mansion is located in among the trees in the lower left quadrant. The caption reads, "The Medford view in '74. This is somewhat to the east of the one above which brings the Stearns house near the left of the picture. The Royall House is the building with four end chimneys near the center of the picture. In the lower right hand corner the tower of the old Stearns windmill is barely visible."
Cabinet card featuring the John Brown bust owned by Mary E. Stearns. This cabinet card was printed by Litchfield Studios in Arlington, MA. A handwritten note on the back of the card reads, "John Brown. From the Bust taken while awaiting Execution in the Virginia Prison, by order of Mrs. George L. Stearns, October 1859. This is the only marble Bust of the Martyr, at present writing - 1919 - in the world. It was only secured by the earnest entreaty of Mrs. Stearns, for whom, and his faithful friend Mr. Stearns, he cherished warm regard. E. A. Brackett, Sculptor."