The Frederick Brown Monument is located in Osawatomie at 1926 Parker Avenue. It honors the dedication and courage of Frederick Brown, an abolitionist who stood against slavery during the guerilla war over slavery in Kansas Territory during the mid-1850s.

The monument was placed near where Frederick Brown was killed by the Rev. Martin White on Aug. 30, 1856, with funds bequeathed by Mary Gardner Adair, the daughter-in-law of the Rev. Samuel Adair and Florella Brown Adair.

The dedication ceremony was held Aug. 30, 1933, and Anna January presided at the ceremony. The Osawatomie Community Band, led by J.O. McClay, opened the dedication by performing “America.”

Mrs. Bernice Ludwick, Kansas Department President of the Women’s Relief Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic, greeted those in attendance at the event. Following her opening remarks, the Patriotic Quartet, consisting of J.O. McClay, W.F. Diediker, Paul Lanning, and H.D. Polson, performed.

Following their performance, Mrs. T.T. Solander spoke, and the keynote speaker was Roy A. Roberts, Managing Editor of the Kansas City Star. Following Robert’s speech, D.A. January gave a reading of the history behind the monument.

Charles H. Adair, the great-grand-nephew of John Brown, unveiled the monument, and Esther Ada Ward, the great-grand-niece of John Brown, laid a wreath at the base of the monument.

The Osawatomie Community Band then performed “The Star Spangled Banner,” and members of the Women’s Relief Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic furled the colors.

The women of Osawatomie were leaders in the effort to honor the courage and ultimate sacrifice of Frederick Brown for the abolitionist cause, which points out the reality that the women of the Women’s Relief Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic, the women’s auxiliary group for the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans organization for the Union forces during the Civil War, were the primary group that ensured that Osawatomie’s John Brown and Civil War-related historic sites were preserved for the present generation.

Even more impressive was the fact that during the depths of the Great Depression, the women of the Women’s Relief Corps worked to place a monument to Frederick Brown’s death for the abolitionist cause and the defense of Osawatomie before the Battle of Osawatomie.

The women of Osawatomie worked to keep the community’s history and heritage alive during the depths of the Great Depression, and Osawatomie’s citizens came together to honor John Brown’s son, Frederick Brown, and the abolitionist founders of Osawatomie.

Today, the Frederick Brown Monument continues to honor the courage and dedication of Frederick Brown to the abolitionist cause, which is a fitting honor due to the reality that Frederick Brown was willing to risk, and ultimately give, his life to work to abolish slavery and inequality in American culture and life.

We owe Frederick Brown a debt of gratitude and respect, as well as the women of Osawatomie who worked to ensure that his sacrifice is still remembered today via the Frederick Brown Monument.

Grady Atwater is site administrator of the John Brown Museum and State Historic Site.

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