"JOHN BROWN'S CONVENTION 1858" - Chatham ON (Canada)
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 42° 24.368 W 082° 10.558
17T E 403230 N 4695540
A plaque describing an important abolitionist meeting, at a church which is still active to this day
Waymark Code: WMH3K4
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 05/16/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
Views: 11

This plaque, located directly in front of First Baptist Church in Chatham Ontario, describes a fateful meeting which took places prior to the American Civil War, and the eventual outcome from that meeting.
The original plaque installed in 1958 (English only), was replaced with a revised bilingual sign in 1995.

An excellent exposition on the life of John Brown, include events immediately before and after the meeting at First Baptist Church in 1858, can be found at the Ontario Heritage Trust website (visit link) It is a highly recommended read!

The following summary was taken from the website vacay.ca/2012/02/underground-railroad-sites-make-ontario-shine (visit link)
Land was purchased for this church in 1850 and the Land Registration Title was recorded as The First Coloured Baptist Church in 1852. Reverend Horace Hawkins, a former slave in Kentucky, signed the document. Portions of the original structure remain under the brick facade. It is the site of a meeting that took place on May 10, 1858 after a letter was written by John Brown, calling a convention to organize a free state for slave families, within the United States. An oath of secrecy was made and a 48-article Constitution was signed by the participants. Seventeen months later, on October 16, 1859, John Brown and his supporters made a raid on the federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, but were captured within days. Brown was executed by hanging on December 2, 1859, but Osborn Perry Anderson escaped, returned to Chatham and wrote, A Voice From Harper’s Ferry chronicling the events.

The plaque at Ontario Historical Plaque at First Baptist Church reads:

On May 10, 1858, American abolitionist John Brown held the last in a series of clandestine meetings here at First Baptist Church. Brown planned to establish an independent republic within the United States and wage guerrilla war to liberate the South from slavery. He came to Upper Canada to recruit blacks who had fled here in the wake of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850). On October 16, 1859, Brown and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and held it against counter-attack for two days. Brown, executed as a traitor, became for many a martyr and hero. His actions escalated the tensions between North and South that led to civil war in 1861.

Le 10 mai 1858, l'abolitionniste américain John Brown tient la dernière réunion d'une série de réunions clandestines ici à la First Baptist Church. Brown prévoit établir une république indépendante aux États-Unis et mener une guerre de partisans pour libérer le Sud de l'esclavage. Il vient au Haut-Canada recruter des Noirs qui s'étaient enfuis ici après l'adoption de la loi sur les esclaves fugitifs (1850). Le 16 octobre 1859, Brown et 21 partisans s'emparent de l'arsenal militaire à Harpers Ferry en Virginie et résistent aux contre-attaques pendant deux jours. Brown, qui est exécuté en tant que traître, devient pour beaucoup un martyr et un héros. Ses actions intensifient les tensions entre le Nord et le Sud qui aboutissent à la guerre de Sécession en 1861.
Address or location of plaque: 135 King Street East, Chatham, ON N7M 3N1

Physical location of plaque: City

"Ontario Plaques" Website for this "Plaque": [Web Link]

A web-site for more details.: [Web Link]

Description of any physical remains at site of "Historical Plaque": Portions of the original First Baptist Church are incorporated into the current buiding

This 'Plaque' describes: An 'Event'

Condition of sign: Good

Is this a bilingual sign?: Yes !

What is the second/third language?: French

Visit Instructions:
A "Visited" only remark, will be deleted.
No Waymark owner "Visits" allowed when setting up the Waymark.
Subsequent visits, at another time with photo are acceptable.
NOTE: All photos must include the 'O.H.P.Plaque' at its location to qualify for a "Visited"
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antoonvdr visited "JOHN BROWN'S CONVENTION 1858" - Chatham ON (Canada) 08/13/2019 antoonvdr visited it