Bleeding Kansas Gets Bloody

John Brown

The Battle of Black Jack was a precursor to the Civil War.

They called it “Bleeding Kansas,” and the first real battle of that pre-Civil War conflict occurred on June 2, 1856 near Baldwin City. The Battle of Black Jack pitted a few dozen abolitionists, led by John Brown (photo), against a pro-slavery force under the command of Henry Pate. The shooting lasted around three hours; nobody was killed and only three were injured. Pate eventually surrendered. Brown agreed to release Pate and his men in exchange for his two sons, who’d been captured a few days earlier. The fight emboldened Brown and eventually led to his attack on Harper’s Ferry.

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