Militant abolitionist John Brown needed arms to carry out his plan to arm and free slaves. After weeks of planning at a farm in Sharpsburg, MD,
Kennedy Farm, Sharpsburg, MD
John Brown Planning the Raid
at about 11 pm, Sunday, October 16, 1859, Brown, accompanied by about 20 men, all fully armed, crossed the Potomac into Virginia (now West Virginia) at Harper's Ferry.
They overpowered the watchmen at the following locations: the Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridge, the United States armory and arsenal, and the rifle factory above the town on the Shenandoah. They placed guards at those points and at the street corners of the town. Brown established himself in the thick-walled brick building at the armory gate, one room of which was the quarters of the watchman and the other contained a fire-engine. He then sent six men, to seize the principal citizens in the neighborhood and incite those of African decent to rise and join in the insurrection.
Learn what happened next at The John Brown Wax Museum!