Copyright 2009-2011 Lisa Waterman Gray

Monday, October 31, 2011

John Brown Museum State Historic Site - Osawatomie

John Brown was an organizer and lightning rod for the antislavery movement in Kansas. But his tactics were called into question when he led a massacre effort at Pottawatomie. Whatever his motivation for this heinous act may have been, there's no question that Brown made an indelible mark in development of the Kansas Territory.
Today, visitors can catch a glimpse of a spot from which Brown conducted many antislavery activities - the log cabin owned by the Reverend Samuel and Fiorella Adair - who was Brown's half sister. The cabin also functioned as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Once seriously damaged by fire, the cabin has been completely restored and enclosed by an outer wall, with a narrow corridor between antique logs and protective modern stone shell. Compared to many other log cabins of the time, the Adair's home was quite spacious, with a bedroom downstairs and a sleeping loft for the children.
A spacious kitchen and even a full dining room put this cabin's accommodations head and shoulders above others of the time. And the Adair's front room bordered on luxurious, with a massive stone fireplace and fine furnishings that offered the perfect spot for the Reverend to receive members of his congregation.
One can only hope this tranquil spot also provided Brown with respite as he fought the scourge of slavery.

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