Battle of the Spurs

John Brown, as depicted by Ole Peter Hansen Balling, 1870. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

Notable Events:

John Brown finally left Kansas after an incident to the north of Topeka. As John Brown took refuge with freed slaves at a home and Underground Railroad site outside of Topeka, Kansas, a posse under Deputy United States Marshal John P. Wood attempted to arrest him. Brown, three associates, and the unarmed slaves managed to keep the posse from attacking while reinforcements from Topeka arrived. The posse fled from the reinforcements, save for four men taken prisoner, and no shots were fired. Free-Staters labeled the confrontation the "Battle of the Spurs," in mocking reference to the proslavery posse fleeing on horseback.