Ever since Jean Libby told me about my connection to John Brown I have had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know some of the most incredible people in the world- Scholars, historians, musicians, artists, teachers, actors, everyday people, family relations – the list goes on and on. My blog has allowed many of these incredible people an easy way to find me. One example is Richard Smyth, who contacted me in December 2009.
I have been corresponding with Richard and he has a great story to share about the final resting spot of Osbourne Anderson. Picture follows at the end
From: RICHARD SMYTH
Subject: ANNIE BROWN
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 10:49 AM
Thank you so much for the info and the pictures. I would definitely credit you if I ever get around to doing anything with my work. I have been interested in the final resting places of historical figures from Billy the Kid to Herman Melville and Marilyn Monroe. For the last 4 years I have been tracking down anyone connected with the Lincoln assassination which brought me to John Brown. In studying Brown for
the last couple of years I believe the raid on Harpers Ferry to be the opening fight of the Civil War…although many would disagree.
I can tell you are proud of being a “Brown kin,” and deservedly so. Speaking of labels…I could never take Lincoln’s “The Great Emancipator” away from him although prior to 1861 he was not that concerned with the slavery issue the country was facing. He inherited the problem from the prior ineffective president and was pushed to “do more” by Northern Abolitionists and anti-slavery leaders like
Frederick Douglass. I would give the title “The Greatest Emancipators” to John Brown and his Raiders that accompanied him to Harpers Ferry. He devoted his whole life to emancipation and unlike other Abolitionists…to equality.
BTW – if you looked at all the biographical info on the Raiders at the John Brown museum in Harpers Ferry you would notice that they list the final resting place of Osborn Perry Anderson as “lost.” Over a year ago I located Anderson ‘s grave in a predominantly Black cemetery in Maryland. His remains had been moved when Harmony Cemetery in Wash. DC went bankrupt and was sold to developers. The Park Service is aware of his new location but could not get the display changed in time for this past October. I did receive two nice letters from them thanking me for my contribution to history.
I was successful in locating the unmarked grave of Elizabeth Keckly (ex-slave – modiste – confidante), Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress about 2 years ago. Working with the Washington and New York Lincoln Groups and the Surratt Society we have raised enough for a headstone which will be unveiled next Presidents Day weekend.
Osborn Perry Anderson
July 17, 1830 December 11, 1872
This Dedicated And Brave Christian
Travelled From Chatham, Canada to
Harpers Ferry Virginia To Fight Beside
John Brown In His Quest To Abolish
Slavery. He Later Served As A Union
Soldier In The Civil War.
Greater Love Hath No Man Than This.