In October, 1859, occurred the famous John Brown raid into Virginia, in which an old man, who had obtained in Kansas the notoriety of a horse-thief and an assassin, invaded the State of Virginia at Harper's Ferry with a band of outlaws, declared his purpose to free the slaves, and commenced with a work of blood the first acts of sectional rebellion against the authority of the United States…. [John Brown] collected a small company of insurgents, black and white, on a farm he had rented near Harper's Ferry, hoping that, as he invaded Virginia, the blacks would flock to his standard, and be armed there with the pikes and rifles he had provided for his recruits…. At half past ten o'clock, Sunday night, 17th October, 1859, the Potomac was crossed, and, proceeding with military method, the party seized first the watchman guarding the railroad bridge at Harper's Ferry, and, posting pickets at certain points, occupied the arsenal and armory building…. Col. [Robert E.] Lee took measures to attempt the capture of the insurgents, if possible, without bloodshed. At seven in the morning he sent his aid, Lieut. [J.E.B.] Stuart, to summon them quietly to surrender, promising only protection from violence and a trial according to law. Brown refused all terms…. At last, perceiving all his humane efforts to be of no avail, Col. Lee gave orders for an attack…. [The] insurgents were quickly secured; and the liberated citizens, who had held up their hands to designate themselves to the marines, and thus escape their fire, were hailed with shouts of congratulation as they passed out of the building.