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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Dargan in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Kennedy Farm

Staging and Planning John Brown's Harpers Ferry Raid

 
 
Kennedy Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 11, 2009
1. Kennedy Farm Marker
Inscription.  This is the Kennedy farmhouse, which abolitionist John Brown (using the pseudonym Isaac Smith) leased in July 1859 from Dr. Robert Kennedy's heirs, ostensibly to do some prospecting. Brown's fifteen-year-old daughter, Annie Brown, identified the Kennedy Farm as "Headquarters: War Department." It served as a barracks, arsenal, supply depot, mess hall, debate club, and home to Brown and his fellow conspirators to plan their attack on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, five miles away. Brown's daughter-in-law Martha Brown, sons Owen, Watson, and Oliver Brown, and eighteen other men, five of whom were African American, jammed the house and nearby cabin. Crates marked "mining tools" actually held about 400 rifles and pistols, ammunition, black powder, 1,000 pikes, tools, tents, clothing, and other items a small army needed.

Annie and Martha Brown intercepted curious neighbors while the men hid in the attic. Brown encouraged his young followers, average age 25, to debate his plans for the attack. Once, Brown offered to resign as commander over objections to his scheme, but he received a vote of confidence in the farm kitchen. Brown and his "army"
Kennedy Farm and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 11, 2009
2. Kennedy Farm and Marker
Also in the background are pavilions for the marker unveiling festivities.
marched from here to Harpers Ferry on October 16, hoping to help end slavery.

After the raid failed, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee sent Lt. J.E.B. Stuart and U.S. marines to the farm, where the full scope of Brown's plan was revealed. Maps, letters, spare weapons, and equipment found here further incriminated Brown's supporters.

"Men, get on your arms; we will proceed to the Ferry." - John Brown, October 6, 1859.

"If John Brown did not end the war that ended slavery, he did at least begin the war that ended slavery. If we look over the dates, places, and men, for which this honor is claimed, we shall find that not Carolina, but Virginia - not Fort Sumter, but Harpers Ferry and the arsenal - not Colonel Anderson, but John Brown, began the war that ended American slavery and made this a free Republic." - Frederick Douglass
 
Erected 2009 by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 39° 22.854′ N, 77° 42.808′ W. Marker is near Dargan, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Chestnut Grove Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map.
Kennedy Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
2019
3. Kennedy Farm Marker
Marker is in context with the new marker to its left.
Marker is at or near this postal address: 2406 Chestnut Grove Road, Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown, 59, Hanged (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Invasion (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Kennedy Farm (about 600 feet away); The Moler Family (approx. 2.2 miles away in West Virginia); Battle of Maryland Heights (approx. 2˝ miles away); St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Stone Fort (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dargan.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a drawing of the Kennedy Farm from Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, November 26, 1859. In the upper center are portraits of John Brown and Annie Brown.
 
Kennedy Farm House Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 11, 2009
4. Kennedy Farm House Today
John Brown image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. John Brown
December 12, 1859 by James Wallace Black (Black & Batchelder).
Annie Brown image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
6. Annie Brown
Old John Brown's Residence, Kennedy Farm image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
7. Old John Brown's Residence, Kennedy Farm
from Frank Leslie's illustrated Newspaper, November 26, 1859, Vol. 8, No. 208, P. 407.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,731 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on December 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4. submitted on July 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6, 7. submitted on June 27, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Feb. 27, 2021