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I hope we may see you in this promised land” ~ Annie Brown, 1864


When abolitionist John Brown was executed in December 1859 for treason, he left behind his wife, Mary, and several children. In 1864, Mary, son Salmon and his family, and three daughters (Annie, Sarah, and Ellen) traveled overland by wagon to start a new life in California. Their journey nearly ended in murder when a wagon train of “rebel” Southern sympathizers discovered who they were. The Browns found safety in Red Bluff, California, where the little house that the generous citizens built for the widow and her children still stands.

Mr. Phay’s account of the Brown family in Red Bluff was first published by ANCHR in 1986. This revised edition is augmented with photographs, an index, reminiscences by Salmon Brown, and essays about John Brown’s career, a fateful encounter on the Oregon Trail that almost led to bloodshed, and newspaper rivalries in Red Bluff. Here is the little known tale of John Brown’s family in Northern California and their roots in Tehama, Butte, Humboldt, and Santa Clara Counties.

234 pp.
illustrated and indexed

John Brown's Family in Red Bluff, California, 1864-1870

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