Oldest Statue of John Brown.

Oldest Statue of John Brown

Field review by the editors.

Kansas City, Kansas

"Bloody Kansas" got its nickname in part because of John Brown, an 1850s abolitionist with good intentions but a bad reputation for killing those who disagreed with him. Even a half-century after his death most Americans preferred to forget about John Brown -- but not the students of Western University, an all-black college on the outskirts of Kansas City. In 1911 they pooled their resources and paid a sculptor in Italy to carve a life-size marble statue of Brown -- the first ever -- then had it shipped to their campus where it was erected atop a seven foot granite pedestal with much ceremony.

The statue still stands where it was unveiled a century ago, but nowadays it's mostly unheralded. The surrounding neighborhood has fallen on hard times, and Western University went out of business in 1948.

Oldest Statue of John Brown

Address:
N. 27th St., Kansas City, KS
Directions:
Little-visited, northwest corner of the city, just south of the river. I-635 exit 8. Turn south onto N. 18th St., then make first right onto Quindaro Blvd. Drive west to N. 27th St., turn right, then drive north back over the freeway. On the northwest corner of N. 27th St. and Sewell Ave.
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In the region:
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