|Description||The pike consists of a long wooden shaft with a double edged blade, brass collar, and cross guard. Number stamped on collar: "646".|
|Made||blacksmith Chauncey Hart of Unionville, Connecticut, USA|
|Event||John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859|
This pike is said to be a "John Brown" pike used during the raid at Harper's Ferry. The tentative identification is based on type and undocumented examples. The serial number "646" 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."
John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, 1859