Franklin Benjamin Sanborn was born in New Hampshire on December 15, 1831. Sanborn attended Harvard, graduating in the class of 1855. After college, he settled in Concord, Massachusetts. Sanborn was one of John Brown’s secret six, influential financial supporters of Brown’s movement. After Brown’s attack Sanborn fled to Canada with two other members of the group. The United States Senate attempted to get him to testify but he remained on the run until the state of Massachusetts stepped in to protect him. Throughout his life, Sanborn worked as a journalist and advocate for social reforms, including prison reform and treatment of the mentally ill. Sanborn died on February 24, 1917, in New Jersey.