Bob Powell Published

October 16, 1859: John Brown Captures U.S. Armory

Harpers Ferry was the site of the US Armory, and played a vital role before and during the Civil War.

John Brown, and a band of anti-slavery men, captured the U.S. armory at Harpers Ferry on the night of October 16, 1859. Earlier in the year, Brown had settled into a western Maryland farmhouse, where he trained his 18-man army in military tactics. His goal was to seize weapons from the national armory at Harpers Ferry and arm slaves, who would then overthrow their masters.