Program for the dedication ceremonies of the Stearns Estate marker in front of Cousens Gymnasium, held April 8, 1987. The dedication consisted of several speakers and a performance of "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" ("Battle Hymn of the Republic," sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body") by Julia Ward Howe of Medford.
Snippet of the executor's inventory (dated July 14, 1913) of the will of Mary E. Stearns, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The typewritten document gives a list of items donated to Tufts College and their assessed value ($100.00).
Excerpts from the handwritten will of Mary E. Stearns, who died in December 1901. The excepts itemize a number of specific objects in her house that she would like to be donated to Tufts College after her sons are finished with them. The text reads, "Also to hold for the use and enjoyment of the said Henry during his life the following described articles of personal property situated in the house where I now reside namely: my tall "grandfather's clock" on the front stairway, the "highboy," the cabinet, the tripod table, the old English mirror, all the old-fashioned chairs which belonged to my deceased husband, the bust of John Brown, the bust of George L. Stearns, the bust of Beethoven, the bust of Emerson, the bust of Clytie, the Venus of Milo, and the several paintings painted by my old friend Christopher P. Cranch, excepting only the one hereinbefore given to Lenora Cranch Scott, said articles all to be kept, preserved and used by him during his life in the house where I now live and not elsewhere."
A list of objects to be delivered to Fine Arts Express by the Tufts University Gallery in September 1998. The first two in the list are the busts of John Brown and George L. Stearns, at that point identified only as "Bust of a bearded man" and "Bust of a man."
Courtesy of the Tufts University Permanent Art Collection
Letter from Tufts College president Leonard Carmichael to George R. Sands & Son, a conservator in Cambridge, 1950. It was this letter that allowed Tufts University Art Registrar Laura McDonald to put two and two together and realize the noseless bust was that of John Brown. The letter reads, "Gentlemen: Tufts College has a marble bust of John Brown, sculptured by Edward A. Brackett. Some time ago in an accident the nose was broken on this bust. Would it be possible for someone in your organization using contemporary photographs of John Brown to prepare a new nose that could be cemented to the bust? If this is feasible, would you be willing to indicate the cost of your work? Very truly yours, Leonard Carmichael"