TACWM logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name PIKE
Catalog Number 0985.06.00112
Date 1859
Description Wooden shaft with slightly bulbous end, tapered spear point blade with small ovoid guard and metal collar securing blade to shaft with single screw. Number stamped on collar: "667". Length of shaft (to base of ferrule): 69"; length of ferrule: 3 3/8"; length of blade: 9 5/16"; width of base of blade: 2"; cross guard: 4 1/2" x 1 1/4". Old museum sticker "321" adhered to surface.
Dimensions W-4.5 L-82 Dia-4.5 inches
Owned unidentified Union soldier; unidentified Confederate soldier
Made blacksmith Chauncey Hart of Unionville, Connecticut, USA
Event John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859
Provenance This pike is an example of a "John Brown" pike, carried during the war by a "Negro soldier" during the insurrection (John Brown's Raid in 1859). The pike was captured but given to Brig. Gen. Bradley T. Johnson long after the war ended. The serial number "667" 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 unidentified Union soldier
unidentified Confederate soldier
Johnson, Bradley Tyler
Brown, John
Hart, Chauncey
Search Terms John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859
Subjects African Americans