Osawatomie, Kansas, Jan. 11, 1859.
Dear Children, All, — I have but a moment in which to tell you that I am in middling health; but have not been able to tell you as yet where to write me. This I hope will be different soon. I suppose you get Kansas news generally through the papers.1 May God ever bless you all!
Your affectionate father,
1 They would thus learn that he had made his foray, and that both Governor Medary of Kansas and President Buchanan had set a price on his head. Charles Robinson's account of this foray (published twenty years later in the “Topeka Commonwealth”) is characteristic: “Brown and his heroes went over the line into Missouri, killed an old peaceable citizen, and robbed him of all the personal effects they could drive or carry away. Such proceedings caused the Free-State men to organize to drive him from the Territory; and he went to Harper's Ferry, where he displayed his wonderful generalship in committing suicide.”
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 489-90