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John Brown ordered 950 iron pikes from the Collins Company of Connecticut for use during the hoped-for slave insurrection following his raid at the U.S. arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, October 18, 1859. Brown's army, made up of sixteen whites and five blacks, took hostages from the community and took over the arsenal. Brown's army was overwhelmed by U.S. troops led by Colonel Robert E. Lee. The pikes were found in a nearby Maryland farmhouse used by Brown to organize the raid. Brown was tried and hanged for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia on December 2, 1859.

Creator: Collins Company
Date: between 1858 and 1859

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Item Number: 209884
KSHS Identifier: 1881.75.1

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