Each June, in the small town of Osawatomie, Kansas, local residents hold a pageant to select a high school girl to be the new "John Brown Queen." The unlikely namesake of this pageant was responsible for the murder of five unarmed men in 1856 along the nearby Pottawatomie Creek. His memory is intertwined with the town's past, for he fought to keep Osawatomie free of slavery.
The annual summer event is a celebration of a man who remains one of the most controversial figures in American history. John brown dedicated his life to the abolition of slavery; for him, any means used to achieve thi…
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