Learn about the Battle of Black Jack through exhibit at Harris-Kearney House Museum

Westport Historical Society News Release

Contact: Jennifer McKeithen, Executive Director, (816) 561-1821
4000 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64111
Facebook: 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum
Or Group Page: Westport Historical Society

Date: July 26, 2013 For Immediate Release

Battle of Black Jack exhibit comes to Westport Museum

The 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum and Westport Historical Society are pleased to announce the August exhibit is The Battle of Black Jack. The Battle of Black Jack is considered by many to have been the first fight of the Civil War. Most certainly, it contributed to the name of "Bleeding Kansas.”

On June 2, 1856, the abolitionist John Brown led his free-state militia, with co-commander Samuel Shore, in attacking the camp of a pro-slavery force led by Henry Clay Pate. This clash was the first pitched battle between pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups. Pate, thinking he was outnumbered and possibly surrounded, eventually surrendered to Brown.

Opening with an exploration into the lives of John Brown and Henry Clay Pate, this exhibit also features some of the men who fought beside them. It explores the territory surrounding the battlefield and its use as part of the Santa Fe Trail and the return of one of the battle’s veterans, Robert Hall Pearson, to farm the area. The Black Jack Battlefield Trust created the exhibit in the fall of 2009 to mark the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.

On display from August 1-31, this exhibit will be open during regular museum hours, Wednesday through Saturday, from 1-5 p.m. There will be a Grand Showing on August 2, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, from 5-8 p.m. The event is free, though donations are appreciated.

About the 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum and Westport Historical Society:

Located at 4000 Baltimore, in Kansas City, MO, the 1855 Harris-Kearney House is the oldest remaining residence in Kansas City. The house was built by the Harris family in 1855, and is now a museum owned and operated by the Westport Historical Society. The WHS was founded in 1956 to promote, preserve, and foster public interest in the significant history of Westport, Missouri, the Town of Kansas, and Missouri, as well as their founders.

The 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum is open for tours Wednesday-Saturday, from 1-5pm. For more information, visit our website, www.westporthistorical.com. Contact us at 816-561-1821, westporthistorical@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook.

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