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Do You Know About The Civil War

John Brown's Raid (October 16, 17, and 18, 1959) - Planning

John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry (also known as John Brown's Raid or The Raid on Harpers Ferry) was an attempt by abolitionist John Brown, to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Brown's raid was defeated by a detachment of U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee.

Who else do you know about John Brown's Raid?

1. Who selected the site for the Federal Arsenal in 1794?

2. When did John Brown arrive in Harper's Ferry?

3. Who did John Brown met to discuss his plans?

4. Who were planning to give arms too?

5. How big a force was originally planned?


Answers

1. In 1794 George Washington selected the site of Harper's Ferry for the location of a Federal Arsenal. John H. Hall was contracted to manufacture his rifle in the town.

2. John Brown arrived in Harpers Ferry on July 3, 1859. A few days later, under the name Isaac Smith, he rented a farmhouse in nearby Maryland. He awaited the arrival of his recruits. They never materialized in the numbers he expected.

3. In late August he met with Frederick Douglass in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where he revealed the Harpers Ferry plan. Douglass expressed severe reservations, rebuffing Brown's pleas to join the mission. Douglass had actually known about Brown's plans from early in 1859 and had made a number of efforts to discourage blacks from enlisting.

4. Brown began training a small group of men for military action. His group included 16 white men, 3 free blacks, 1 freed slave and 1 fugitive slave. Northern abolitionist groups sent 200 breech loading .52 caliber Sharps carbines ("Beecher's Bibles") and pikes in preparation for the raid. The arsenal contained 100,000 muskets and rifles. The plan was to seize the weapons and arm local slaves whom Brown believed would flock to the cause.

5. John Henrie Kagi's draft plan called for a brigade of 4,500 men, but Brown had only 21 men (16 white and 5 black: three free blacks, one freed slave, and a fugitive slave). They ranged in age from 21 to 49. Twelve of them had been with Brown in Kansas raids.

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