Allstadt House

Allstadt House (HM1YAD)

Location: Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 18.949', W 77° 46.337'

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John Brown's Hostages

—Prelude to War —

The Allstadt House and Ordinary was the home of John H. Allstadt. On the evening of October 16, 1859, John Brown and his "army" of would-be slave liberators launched their attack on Harpers Ferry from Kennedy Farm just across the Potomac River in Maryland. Brown detached a party under John Cook to seize hostages. At about 1:30 A.M. on October 17, Cook captured Col. Lewis W. Washington and three Slaves at nearby Beallair. He then led his party here on the way to Harpers Ferry, knocked down the door with a fence rail at about 3 A.M., and took as prisoners Allstadt, his son John Thomas Allstadt (then eighteen years old), and seven slaves. The hostages rode in Washington's wagon to Harpers Ferry, where they were placed under guard by the raiders in the fire-engine house.

Soon after sunrise on October 18, Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee called on Brown and his men to surrender. When they refused, a party of U.S. Marines stormed the building. They fixed bayonets rather than opening fire to reduce the risk to the hostages. All were released but the slave Philip who was captured helping John Brown. and jailed in Charles Town, where he died.

When the war came, John Thomas Allstadt enlisted in Co. K, 2nd Virginia Infantry and served in the Stonewall Brigade under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson. According to Allstadt's tombstone, he was the last survivor of John Brown's Raid when he died in 1923.

Altstadt House was built on 1,675 acres that the Lee family of Virginia, including Philip Ludwell Lee, Richard Bland Lee and Henry Lee, acquired between 1786 and 1804. The earliest part of the house dates to about 1790. Jacob Allstadt purchased the house and 114 acres in 1811, began operating an ordinary (inn that served meals), and expanded the dwelling about 1830. The building was listed on the national Register of Historical places in 1985.
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 260995 N 4355489
Decimal Degrees39.31581667, -77.77228333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 18.949', W 77° 46.337'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 18' 56.94" N, 77° 46' 20.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 229 Alstadts Hill Rd, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, US
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