About Osbourne Perry Anderson
Born in Pennsylvania on July 17, 1830, Anderson was educated at Oberlin College in Ohio, then immigrated to Canada, where he learned the printing trade and met Brown in 1858.
Anderson was one of five blacks among Brown’s 21 raiders, and he was only one of a handful among the entire group who escaped and survived. He went on to write a book, “A Voice from Harper’s Ferry.”
Anderson enlisted in the Union Army in 1864. Mustered from service, he lived in Washington, where he belonged to the 15th Street Presbyterian Church and died of tuberculosis in December 1872 at 42. An obituary in the Washington Star described him as “a man of good character” eulogized by three ministers.
He was buried first in the Columbian Harmony Cemetery, founded by free blacks in 1825, at the current site of the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station parking lot in Northeast Washington.
The cemetery eventually fell into disuse and disrepair, and, in 1959, its 37,000 remains were disinterred and moved to Maryland, to the National Harmony Memorial Park.