powder, percussion caps
, and other military supplies, that he had gathered for arming the negroes when they rose to insurrection in response to his call and movements.
About 11 p. m., Sunday, October 16, 1859, Brown
, accompanied by 14 white men from Connecticut
, New York, Ohio
, and 5 negroes from Ohio
and New York, some 20 insurgents, all fully armed, crossed the Potomac
at Harper's Ferry
, overpowered the watchmen at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad bridge, the United States armory and arsenal near the Baltimore
, and the rifle factory above the town on the Shenandoah
, and placed guards at those points and at the street comers of the town.
established himself in the thick-walled brick building at the armory gate, one room of which was the quarters of the watchman and the other contained a fire-engine; he then sent six men, including the spy Cook
, under Captain Stevens
, to seize the principal citizens in the neighborhood and incite the negroes to rise in insurrection.
This party broke into the house of Col. L. W. Washington
, about five miles from Harper's Ferry
, about 1:30 a. m. of the 17th, and forced him and four of his servants to accompany them to Harper's Ferry
, he in his own carriage and followed by one of his farm wagons, which they seized.
On their way back, at about 3 a. m., they captured Mr. Allstadt
and six of his servants, placing arms in the hands of the latter.
On reaching Harper's Ferry
and five of the captured slaves were sent with Colonel Washington
's four-horse wagon to bring forward the arms, etc., deposited at the schoolhouse in Maryland
In the meantime Brown
halted, for a time, an eastbound passenger train on the Baltimore
, one of his men killing the railroad guard at the bridge; he also captured, as they appeared on the streets in the early morning, some 40 citizens of Harper's Ferry
, whom he confined, with Messrs. Washington
, in one room of the gate or engine house which he had selected as his fort or point of defense.
News of these occurrences spread rapidly, and citizens and citizen soldiery, with arms, hastened from all the surrounding parts of Virginia
to resist this high-handed invasion of their homes and States.