Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, John Brown

The Site Of John Brown’s Attempted Slave Insurrection In Harpers Ferry

In 1855, Abolitionist John Brown, and two of his sons, had participated in the fighting against pro-slavery settlers in the state of Kansas. John Brown met with Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman, whom he referred to as “General Tubman”. Both abolitionists reinforced John Brown’s militant believes which would lead him to attempt a slave insurrection in the state of Virginia.

The Harper’s Ferry Fire Station that John Brown and his followers took over after raining the United States Armory. (Hamilton Photo October 24, 2020).

In 1859, John Brown took 20 followers to raid the United States Armory in order to procure weapons for a slave insurrection. General Robert Edward Lee was sent to the Fire Station, next to the armory, that John Brown and his militant followers were staying in. A shootout commenced and the group was forced to surrender. John Brown and some of his followers were hung for actions.

In 1861, during the Battle for Harper’s Ferry, the Union burnt down the armory, that John Brown had raided geo years before, to keep Confederate sympathizers from getting a hold of the weapons inside.

Congress declared, the area within the site of the former armory and John Brown’s Fort, as well as the areas that former President Thomas Jefferson and another areas that Lewis and Clark had once explored within the town, as part of a U.S. National Park.

On a hill near the John Brown Fort is a monument dedicated to the former abolitionist.

Author’s Note:

Here is a Smithsonian Magazine documentary on John Brown’s raid.

Ben Lomond, California, John Brown

Jason Brown’s Tragic Life In Ben Lomond, California

Jason Brown, one of the surviving sons of abolitionist John Brown, moved to a cabin in Ben Lomond, California with his wife. Their first child together died at birth. The couple had two more children together. However, the second child together died at sixteen years of age and his wife ended their marriage after the passing of their second child.

Jason Brown has his brother Owen Brown move on with him after his wife moved out. Jason Brown helped build Highway 17 in Santa Cruz and spent the rest of his life as a recluse.

Author’s Note:

Philip Hamilton learned about Jason Brown’s life from a California Historical Society’s event on the 160th Anniversary of John Brown’s raid.

Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Highway 17, John Brown, Mary Ellen Pleasant

The California Historical Society Lecture On The 160th Anniversary Of John Brown’s Harpers Ferry

On October 1, 2019, the California Historical Society hosted a lecture on the 160th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry Virginia from October 16 to 18, 1859. Mexican-American War Veteran Robert Edward Lee was sent to the site of the raid to keep John Brown and his followers form acquiring the guns in the armory.

John Brown was executed on December 2, 1859, less than two months after the raid. In 1864, John Brown’s wife Mary, and several of his children, moved to California. Mary got a job counting monies at the U.S. Mint building in San Francisco. However, when Democratic President Grover Cleveland found out that Mary Brown was working for the federal government, she was promptly fired. One of John Brown’s sons, Jason Brown, moved to Ben Lomond, California and helped build Highway 17.

The guest speaker mentioned that Owen Brown, and some of the other Brown children, are buried in California.

In addition, Mary Ellen Pleasant, a friend of John Brown whom traveled with him to Canada in 1858, is buried in California.

Author’s Note:

In 1932, author Orson Wells wrote a play about John Brown. In August 2019, this play was published for the first time.