Boudoir Card of Owen Brown, John Brown's Son, ca 1887

Boudoir card showing Owen Brown, John Brown's son, in front of his cabin. Lamson: Pasadena, California, n.d., ca 1887. Image of a small, what appears to be one-room cabin. Owen Brown (1824-1889), with a full white beard and mustache, stands in front holding a walking stick. Three white children, possibly his nephews, are visible in the doorway and sitting on the stoop. An African American man leans upon the cabin's only window sill, holding a hat in his hand. A younger white man wearing a bowler hat stands to the far right of the image. Of all the images of Owen Brown in front of his Southern California cabin, this is the only known example to include an African American. 

Owen Brown was the third son of abolitionist John Brown, who was also devoted to the cause. Owen had moved west to Kansas in 1854 in an effort to ensure that the state would be free when it entered the Union. He would notably participate in the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. When he believed his father to be dead, he escaped with four others. He spent the Civil War in hiding as he had a $25,000 bounty on his head, though he remained an active conductor on the Underground Railroad, leading fugitive slaves across Ohio. In the early 1880s, he moved west and arrived in Pasadena, California, building a cabin in El Prieto Canyon near Altadena with his brother Jason and his family. Brown would be an active temperance advocate in Pasadena but would die in 1889. Over 2,000 people came to his funeral, nearly equal the entire population of Pasadena at the time, where a band leading the procession played "John Brown's Body." Owen was laid to rest near the cabin on what was called Brown Mountain, named for his father. 


Scuffs to card extremities.

Estimate: $400 - $600
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