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John Brown Memorial Park & Museum

John Brown, considered a fanatical abolitionist by some and a martyr by others, is closely associated with the proslavery and free-state struggle of the Kansas Territorial period, 1854-1861. John Brown followed five of his sons to Kansas in 1855 where he saw an opprtunity to help make Kansas a free state-bringing a wagon load of weapons along with him. 

In May of 1856, a small party consisting mainly of Brown and his sons raided the cabins of proslavery men killing five of them. Up to that time there had been little bloodshed between proslavery and free-state groups. Brown's raid brought retaliation. On August 30, 1856 Brown and his followers where attacked by a large force of border ruffians. In the "Battle of Osawatomie" five of Brown's men, including one of his sons, were killed and the town burned. Brown was in and out of the area until over the next few months and took part in the border troubles near Ft. Scott. Later, on December 23 he made a raid into Missouri to liberate slaves and other property from slaveholders. The group was hidden in the Adair Cabin and later safely made their way to Canada and freedom. 

The John Brown State Historic Site is located in beautiful John Brown Park. The museum houses the log cabin Rev. Samuel Adair and his family lived in when they moved to Kansas. Through artifacts and interpretation visitors learn about the struggles of these early pioneers. It took hard work and courage to take a firm stand against the spread of slavery into Kansas Territory. Kansas was admitted as a free state in 1861.

Contact Us
Grady Atwater
Museum Curator

10th and Main St.
P.O. Box 37
Osawatomie, KS 66064

Ph: 913-755-4384
Fx: 913-755-4164

Tuesday - Saturday
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

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City of Osawatomie 439 Main St. Osawatomie, KS 66064 Ph: 913-755-2146 Fx: 913-755-4164