Vergenses, Vt., May 13, 1857.
Some days since, while on my way home [to North Elba, N. Y.], sick with fever and ague, I got your favor of the 29th April, saying, “Mr. Lawrence has agreed with me that the one thousand dollars shall be made up, and will write to Gerrit Smith to-day or to-morrow, to say that he can depend on the money from him.” After getting home I agreed with two young men (by the name of Thompson) who had bargained with Mr. Smith for the farm several years ago, and paid him in part for it, and who had made the improvements on it, that I would take the farm, pay the balance due Mr. Smith (some two hundred dollars), and the remainder, about eight hundred dollars, to them; which would enable them to pay for another farm which they had before bought of a Mr. Lawton, and were unable to pay for. Three days ago one of these men set out for Peterboro' (the home of Gerrit Smith) to meet me there, on my way West, and have the thing completed. I will now say (“frankly,” as you suggest) that I must ask to have the one thousand dollars made up at once and forwarded to Gerrit Smith. I did not start the measure of getting up any subscription for me (although I was sufficiently needy, as God knows), nor had 1 a thought of further burdening either of my dear friends Stearns or Lawrence.
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 408