exhibit attempts to highlight Oberlin's relationship with John
Brown. John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut on May 9,
1800, the son of Owen and Ruth Brown. The Brown family moved to
Hudson, Ohio when John was five years old. Owen Brown served as
a member of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute's Board of Trustees
from 1835 to 1844. During 1840 and 1841 John Brown failed in an
attempt to negotiate with the Oberlin Collegiate Institute to settle
his family on land known as the Gerrit Smith-Oberlin Virginia lands.
In 1856, Oberlin College students Samuel S. Burdette and Henry P.
Kinney joined abolitionist Brown in the conflict over slavery in
Kansas. The specter of the sectionalism loomed large at the time.
On October 16, 1859, Oberlinians John A. Copeland, Lewis Sheridan
Leary, and Shields Green (a runaway slave) participated in Brown's
raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal. Leary died of a wound received
in the raid, and Copeland and Green were hanged on December 16,
1859. A monument erected in 1860 to honor the three Oberlin men
who lost their lives at Harpers Ferry can be found in the Martin
Luther King, Jr. Park on Vine Street in Oberlin.