“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

Allstadt House

John Brown's Hostages


—Prelude to War —

Allstadt House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Glahn, February 18, 2017
1. Allstadt House Marker
Inscription. The Allstadt House and Ordinary was the home of John H. Allstadt. On the evening of October 16, 1859, John Brown and his "army" of would-be slave liberators launched their attack on Harpers Ferry from Kennedy Farm just across the Potomac River in Maryland. Brown detached a party under John Cook to seize hostages. At about 1:30 A.M. on October 17, Cook captured Col. Lewis W. Washington and three Slaves at nearby Beallair. He then led his party here on the way to Harpers Ferry, knocked down the door with a fence rail at about 3 A.M., and took as prisoners Allstadt, his son John Thomas Allstadt (then eighteen years old), and seven slaves. The hostages rode in Washington's wagon to Harpers Ferry, where they were placed under guard by the raiders in the fire-engine house.

Soon after sunrise on October 18, Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee called on Brown and his men to surrender. When they refused, a party of U.S. Marines stormed the building. They fixed bayonets rather than opening fire to reduce the risk to the hostages. All were released but the slave Philip who was captured helping John Brown. and jailed in Charles Town, where he died.

When the war came, John Thomas Allstadt enlisted in Co. K, 2nd Virginia Infantry and served in the Stonewall Brigade under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson. According to Allstadt's tombstone, he was the last survivor of John Brown's Raid when he died in 1923.

Altstadt House was built on 1,675 acres that the Lee family of Virginia, including Philip Ludwell Lee, Richard Bland Lee and Henry Lee, acquired between 1786 and 1804. The earliest part of the house dates to about 1790. Jacob Allstadt purchased the house and 114 acres in 1811, began operating an ordinary (inn that served meals), and expanded the dwelling about 1830. The building was listed on the national Register of Historical places in 1985.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 18.949′ N, 77° 46.337′ W. Marker is near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Allstadt Hill Road 0.2 miles north of Millville Road (County Route 27), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Flag Talk (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battle of Harpers Ferry (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sheridan Fortifications (approx. 0.4 miles away); Area History (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Abatis (approx. 0.4 miles away); Infantry Positions (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fake Attack - September 14th (approx. 0.4 miles away); Gun Position #6 (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
Additional keywords. John Brown's Raid
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 13, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 241 times since then and 77 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on May 13, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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