After he married Dianthe Lusk, they moved to Pennsylvania, where he established a tannery of his own.
The couple wed in 1820; before Dianthe’s death in 1831, she bore him seven children.
He was hanged at Charles Town, the county seat near Harpers Ferry, on December 2.
Among those watching the execution, "with unlimited, undeniable contempt" for Brown, was the future assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth.
Other men and a woman found at Sherman’s home were not harmed.
Through it all, Brown had decided, god-like, who would die and who would be spared, though according to his followers he did not actively participate in the executions.
Some say he intended to create a state of free blacks in the mountains of western Virginia and Maryland.
Others say he hoped to create an army of former slaves and freemen to march through Dixie, forcing slave owners to free their slaves.
His thoughts turned more and more to people he considered oppressed; had he lived in a later era, he might have become a socialist.
Often seeking the company of blacks, he even lived in a freedman’s community in North Elba, New York, for two years.