On October 16, 1859 John Brown, three of his sons, and 19 associates raided the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Planning to seize arms stored at the arsenal and set up a base to encourage and assist further slave insurrections, Brown and his men were trapped by U.S. marines and captured. Tried for treason, Brown was convicted and hanged. Southerners saw in Brown’s raid the violent intentions of northerners, while many in the North mourned Brown’s death as a revolutionary martyr. A Harper's Weekly artist sketched Brown and his co-conspirators shortly after their capture as they were charged with treason and murder in a Charlestown, Virginia, courtroom.
Source: Porte Crayon (David Hunter Strother), Harper's Weekly, November 12, 1859.