“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bolivar 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.
Photographed 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.

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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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 17, 1859.
Location. 39° 18.949′ N, 77° 46.337′ W. Marker is near Bolivar, 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. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers.
Allstadt House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 22, 2020
2. Allstadt House Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. No Man's Land (approx. 0.3 miles away); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bolivar.
Additional keywords. John Brown's Raid
Allstadt House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 18, 2020
3. Allstadt House
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 13, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,117 times since then and 125 times this year. Last updated on February 7, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on May 13, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia.   2. submitted on October 22, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.   3. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 19, 2024