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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

John Brown's Bowie Knife

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This bowie knife was worn by John Brown during his 1859 raid on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry. President Buchanan sent federal troops led by Gen. Robert E. Lee to quell the insurrection. A young lieutenant, J.E.B. Stuart, carried a note offering terms of surrender to Brown, who had barricaded himself into a section of the arsenal with a party of followers. When Brown refused the offer, his redoubt was quickly overwhelmed. Stuart kept Brown's bowie knife as a souvenir and it is now in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society.

The knife was manufactured in Sheffield, England, by the company of G. Wostenholm & Son, one of the foremost producers of bowie knives. It is called "The Hunter's Companion" and has the famous "I*XL" (I excel) stamp. The blade is about seven inches in length.

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