Abolitionist John Brown had 1,000 pikes, including this one, made for $1 each. A pike is a long, slender pole with an attached metal blade or spike at the end. Brown’s pikes were to be used as weapons. He planned to arm slaves and lead them in an uprising. Brown was captured after attacking an arsenal in order to steal weapons. Several of the pikes were collected and given to the governors of each slave-holding state.
This resource is part of the A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images collection.