High in New York State's Adirondack Mountains is the home and grave of abolitionist John Brown. Many Americans know the song "John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave," but most do not associate the words with this simple farm at North Elba, New York.
On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and his followers assaulted the U.S. Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, planning to use the captured arms in an extensive campaign for the liberation of the slaves in the South. Brown was captured on October 18, 1859, imprisoned at Charlestown, Virginia, tried by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and hanged on December 2, 1859. His body was returned to North Elba and was buried in front of his home on December 8, 1859. The remains of several of Brown's followers, who fought and died at Harper's Ferry, were moved to this small graveyard in 1899.
Brown's final prophesy--"I, John Brown, am quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done,"--was soon to be realized in the Civil War.
Hours of Operation
- Tours/Special Events/Programs: 5/1 - 10/31 - Weekdays and Sat/Sun: 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Tuesdays. Tours will be given on the hour, the last tour is at 4 PM. Contact Historic Site Office for information.
- May thru Oct. Open 10 AM to 5PM Weekdays and Saturday and Sunday
Closed on Tuesday
Grounds open all year
Also open Independence Day.
Fees & Rates
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John Brown’s Gravesite and North Elba Cemetery Tour
Saturday, October 7, 2023 until Sunday, October 8, 2023 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
John Brown Farm State Historic Site
This guided, relaxed paced walk will include a 1 mile drive
from the Historic Site to the town of North Elba Cemetery. If raining, we will
instead have a discussion on the upper level of the historic barn where the
exhibit ‘Dreaming of Timbuctoo' is located. Please meet us at his gravesite at John Brown Farm in Lake
for a short chat about relationships that developed after this life-long
abolitionist and believer in equality moved to the north country of NY, and
what roles the women in his family played in his life and mission. Then we'll
drive a mile to the North Elba cemetery, where we can see where some family
members and neighbors were laid to rest. We will also find the graves and tell
the stories of a few of the civil war veterans from North Elba. Please register at 518-806-9719 and leave name, contact
number and date of walk, but walk-ins welcome as well!