About Francis Jackson Meriam
Francis Jackson Meriam, grandson and namesake of the Garrisonian abolitionist and Boston historian Francis Jackson, was a young manic-depressive with but one good eye. He helped James Redpath collect materials in Haiti and across the American South for use in a book dedicated to John Brown and Redpath arranged for Meriam to join Brown's guerrillas.
He was not captured or killed at Harpers Ferry because he had been left in one of his fits of despair at the Kennedy farmhouse during the raid. After escaping through Shippensburg, Philadelphia, Boston, Concord, and the area of St. Catharines, Canada he served as a captain in the 3rd South Carolina Colored Infantry.
Erratic and unbalanced, he urged wild schemes upon his superiors and sometimes attempted them. In an engagement under General Grant he received a serious leg wound. He died suddenly on November 28, 1865 in New York.