John Brown’s Women

As the United States wrestles with its besetting sin—slavery—abolitionist John Brown is growing tired of talk. He takes actions that will propel the nation toward civil war and thrust three courageous women into history.

Wealthy Brown, married to John Brown’s oldest son, eagerly falls in with her husband’s plan to settle in Kansas. Amid clashes between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, Wealthy’s adventure turns into madness, mayhem, and murder.

Fifteen-year-old Annie Brown is thrilled when her father summons her to the farm he has rented in preparation for his raid. There, she guards her father’s secrets while risking her heart.

Mary Brown never expected to be the wife of John Brown, much less the wife of a martyr. When her husband’s daring plan fails, Mary must leave her isolated home for hostile territory, where she finds the eyes of the nation riveted upon John—and upon her.

Spanning three decades and half the breadth of a nation, John Brown’s Women is a tale of love and sacrifice, and of the ongoing struggle for America to achieve its promise of liberty and justice for all.

Praise for John Brown’s Women

“Through tragedy, triumph, outrage, and defeat, Higginbotham ably portrays the legacy of Brown and his family as stalwarts in the fight against slavery. Historical fans will feel right at home here.”

Publishers Weekly
“More than painting a picture of John Brown’s life through the eyes of the women in his life, Higginbotham’s novel makes accessible the whole period and the moral conflict over slavery within white society. . . .  A rich portrait of 19th-century America emerges, with all its flaws and hardships.”

—Kate Braithwaite, Historical Novels Review
“[A] historical work highly recommended for readers who want their action and facts reinforced by attention to the impact these events hold on women’s daily lives and psyches. . . . [T]hought-provoking reading that brings the times to life.”

—Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“An absolutely fantastic read with characters who will stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.”

—Michelle Moran, internationally bestselling author of MADAME TUSSAUD

“[A] new and refreshing perspective on John Brown, the abolitionist who was hanged in Virginia to end slavery in 1859—soon before the Civil War, which he is often credited (or blamed) for beginning. . . . The historical accuracy of events in the John Brown story footnoted in biographies is enriched with the author’s expertise of life in the 19th century. . . . Highly recommended.” 

—Jean Libby, retired history instructor, author of John Brown’s Family in California (2006) and John Brown Photo Chronology; catalog of the exhibition at Harpers Ferry 2009 (2009, 2016)

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