John Brown Pike

The Case:

Our contributor bought a spear, or pike, from an antique shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He knows abolitionist John Brown lived near Chagrin Falls and wonders if rebels used this blade in John Brown’s famous raid at Harpers Ferry, VA.  

In October 16, 1859, John Brown and 18 men attacked the federal armory in Harpers Ferry. Brown wanted to secure weapons for a future slave rebellion. Instead, thirteen raiders were killed; John Brown was captured and hanged.

To find out whether rebels used this pike in that raid, History Detectives follows the trail to the blacksmith who forged the weapon over 150 years ago, and walks the ground at Harpers Ferry where the battle took place. 

Discuss this story

Season 9, Episode 3

Wes Cowan Location:
Unionville, Connecticut and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

More Information

Unionville Museum
15 School Street
Unionville, CT 06085
(860) 673-2231‎

Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park
171 Shoreline Drive
Harpers Ferry, WV  25425

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