|After the death of Dianthe Lusk Brown in
1832, the widowed father of five children was
aided by a daughter of Charles Day, local
blacksmith. Her sister Mary Ann came to
help with spinning.
John Brown, age 32, proposed to Mary,
age 16, by letter slipped into her apron
pocket when she went to the spring to get
water. Then he followed to get her answer.
Their reception took place in Martha and
Thomas Delameter's parlor, shown at left.
Martha was Mary's older sister. Nephew
George Delameter was a friend of John
Brown, Jr. throughout their lives.
|On September 25, 2014, Allies for Freedom editor Jean Libby toured the Tannery Site with Ed
Edinger of the John Brown Heritage Association in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Brown operated
the tannery from 1826 to 1835, after which he moved with his growing family to Ohio.
The Delameter House (called a "stand") is extant. The current resident graciously allowed us to
photograph the parlor in which the wedding reception of John and Mary Brown was held in
1833. Martha Day was several years older than her sister Mary. Their mother passed away and
Charles married again, Mary Ann Little. Martha married Thomas Delameter in western New
York. Both families emigrated to Meadville in the 1820s, when Mary was a child. At that time
John Brown and his first wife, Dianthe Lusk, lived at the house above the tannery with their five
children--John Brown, Jr., Ruth, Frederick, Jason, and Owen. The grave of Dianthe Lusk Brown
and two of her children is behind the house, open as a museum by the owners Gary and Donna
We went first to the Crawford County Historical Society at 411 Chestnut Street in Meadville and
met with Director Annette Lynch. The painted photograph of John Brown made in the 1880s -
1890s by Henry Philip Jacob Sartorius resides in the Baldwin Reynolds House and Museum
owned by the Crawford County Historical Society. It was given to them by a descendant of the
Delameter family of Meadville.
photos and commentary by Jean Libby, Allies for Freedom
photograph of Henry Sartorius art by C. J. Dennington, Meadville
courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
|Interpretation at the John Brown Tannery Site is by Mark Peaster of the John Brown
Heritage Association. He tells the story of the 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry as well as the
tannery. John Brown of Meadville is a leading citizen and innovator for the
community. Peaster credits him with essential development for the town that has
become a city in western Pennsylvania.
|The bronze plaque was
created by art teachers and
students at nearby Edinburo
College in 1938