John Brown Hanging Site

John Brown Hanging Site (HMRWY)

Location: Charles Town, WV 25414 Jefferson County
Buy West Virginia State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 39° 17.147', W 77° 51.388'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Creation of a Martyr

— Prelude to War —

This is where seven men were hanged in December 1859 and March 1860 for their part in John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry. The scaffold stood here in a large field.

A month after the trial, on December 2, 1859, John Brown was the first to die. He rode here in a wagon, sitting on his casket, with his arms tied. His last message, which he gave to a jail guard, read: "I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land: will never be purged away; but with Blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed; it might be done."

Eight hundred militiamen under Col. John T. Gibson stood guard to prevent any attempt to free Brown. Brown's body was returned to his wife in Harpers Ferry and taken home to North Elba, New York, for burial. Many Northerners regarded him as a martyr.

Among those present at Brown's execution were Thomas J. (later "Stonewall") Jackson, then an instructor at Virginia Military Institute, John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, and Edmund Ruffin, who fired one of the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter.

On December 16, white raiders John Cook and Edwin Coppic and black raiders Shields Green and John Copeland were hanged here. Raiders Aaron Stevens and Albert Hazlett followed on March 16.

In 1892, Gibson, the militia commander, built the Victorian house that stands here today.
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 Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 12:21am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 253631 N 4352381
Decimal Degrees39.28578333, -77.85646667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.147', W 77° 51.388'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 8.82" N, 77° 51' 23.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 501-515 S Samuel St, Charles Town WV 25414, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?