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Henry Thompson

Abolitionist. Born: January 21, 1822 Died: February 8, 1911

Henry Thompson was born in New York on January 21, 1822, to parents Roswell and Mary Thompson.  He married Ruth Brown, daughter of the famous but controversial abolitionist John Brown, in 1850.

While Thompson’s brothers-in-law went west in spring 1855, he did not go until later. He traveled with his father-in-law and brother-in-law Oliver to Kansas Territory in fall 1855.

Thompson was active in the abolitionist cause, which John Brown so fervently promoted. He participated in the Pottawatomie Massacre in Franklin County on May 24, 1856. He was directly involved in the killings.

Injured during the Battle of Black Jack, Thompson  was shot in the side, but survived.  He decided not to participate when Brown and his followers raided the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia.)

Several years after involvement with Brown and his men, Thompson, Ruth, and two of his brothers-in-law, moved out west to Pasadena, California.  There Thompson died on February 8, 1911.

Entry: Thompson, Henry

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2016

Date Modified: July 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.