John Brown Hanging Site

John Brown Hanging Site (HMRWY)

Location: Charles Town, WV 25414 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 17.147', W 77° 51.388'

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Inscription

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.
Details
HM NumberHMRWY
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 12:21am PDT -07:00
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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

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