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John Brown’s Battle at Black Jack: Dawn of the Civil War

Saturday, June 2nd, is the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Black Jack near Baldwin City.  The Battle was a precursor of many violent things to come.

Featuring the abolitionist John Brown, the battle was between Brown’s anti-slavery forces and the encampment of Henry Pate.  Pate, along with his group of 750 pro-slavery men, had participated in the “Sacking of Lawrence” on the previous May 21st.  The Free State Hotel was burned, newspaper offices and presses destroyed, and the city was pillaged.

Brown retaliated.  Five pro-slavery men were killed at Pottawatomie Creek.  And following this massacre, Brown’s group attacked Pate at Black Jack and Pate and 22 others were captured.  Many historians consider this period in “Bleeding Kansas” the unofficial start of the Civil War.

If you would like to learn more, head out to Black Jack on June 2nd to participate in John Brown’s Battle at Black Jack: Dawn of the Civil War, a  commemoration of this historic time.  For more information visit



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