No Shots Fired in "Battle of the Spurs"

Monday, January 31, 1859

John Brown. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

John Brown finally leaves Kansas after an incident outside Topeka. As John Brown takes refuge with freed slaves at a home outside of Topeka, Kansas, a posse under Deputy United States Marshal John P. Wood attempts to arrest him. Brown, three associates, and the unarmed slaves manage to keep the posse from attacking while reinforcements from Topeka arrive. The posse flees from the reinforcements, save for four men taken prisoner, and no shots are fired. Free-Staters label the confrontation the "Battle of the Spurs," in reference to the proslavery posse fleeing on horseback. 


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