About 275 pro-slavery men, led by John W Reid and Reverend Marvin White attacked Osawatomie August 30th 1856. The plan was to destroy the town and then move on to the other Free State towns of Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas. These pro-slavery men shot Frederick Brown, the son of John Brown, there by alerting the Free State men living in Osawatomie. Brown with forty men did what they could to defend the town, but after a number of casualties the men from Osawatomie had to withdraw. Once Osawatomie had been vacated Reid and White’s group looted and burnt the town.
As Brown watched the town of Osawatomie burn he was said to have said, “God sees it, I have only a short time to live - only one death to die, and I will die fighting for this cause. There will be no more peace in this land until slavery is done for."
For more information you might want to look at Kansas Legends Battle of Osawatomie