TACWM logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name PIKE
Catalog Number 0985.13.00307
Date 1859
Description Spear point blade on wooden shaft with iron collar, cross guard, and pin. Number "621" is stamped onto the iron collar.
Dimensions W-4.5 L-80.5 Dia-0.875 inches
Owned Robert Grattan
Owner Regiment 10th Virginia Infantry
Made blacksmith Chauncey Hart of Unionville, Connecticut, USA
Event John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859
Provenance On the day after John Brown was captured, Lt. Robert Grattan took this pike from Harper's Ferry. Lt. Grattan was a member of the 10th Virginia Infantry. The serial number "621" indicates this was among the pikes produced for Brown by blacksmith Chauncey Hart of Unionville, Connecticut, in summer 1859.

In March 1858, Brown commissioned a Collinsville, Connecticut, metal maker named Charles Blair to forge 950 pikes. Blair subcontracted the work to Chauncey Hart of Unionville. With these, Brown intended to arm slaves unaccustomed to firearms in a bid to foment a region-wide revolt. As Brown told Frederick Douglass, "When I strike, the bees will begin to swarm."
People Grattan, Robert
Brown, John
Hart, Chauncey
Search Terms John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859
Subjects African Americans
slaves
slavery
Insurrections
Weapons
Pike