Political map of North America & the Caribbean on 18 Oct 1859 (Manifest Destiny: Raid on Harpers Ferry), showing the following events: French annexation of Clipperton Island; Oregon becomes US state; First Siege of Veracruz; Wyke-Aycinena Treaty; Pig War; Kansas votes to become a free state; Raid on Harpers Ferry.

Raid on Harpers Ferry

Manifest Destiny

North America 1859.1018

Raid on Harpers Ferry

Mexican-American War, Oregon dispute (18 October 1859)

Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean

The 1850s conflict in the US over slavery was not limited to Kansas. In 1859, the abolitionist John Brown and his followers attempted to start a slave revolt in Virginia by seizing the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Although he was defeated, Brown's raid and his subsequent execution further polarized the nation.

Main Events

French annexation of Clipperton Island

The French Empire of Napoleon III annexed Clipperton Island as part of the French colony of Tahiti.

Oregon becomes US state

The western portion of the Oregon Territory was admitted to the US as the State of Oregon, with the remainder assigned to the Washington Territory.

First Siege of Veracruz

Mexican Conservative forces under President Miguel Miramon attempted to besiege the Liberal capital of Veracruz but were forced to withdraw.

Wyke-Aycinena Treaty

Guatemala agreed to recognize British possession of Belize in return for British construction of a road from Guatemala to the Belize town of Punta Gorda.

Pig War

Due to uncertainties over the exact line of the 1846 Oregon Treaty, the San Juan Islands - between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland - had ended up claimed by both the United States and the British Empire, with settlers from both nations residing there. On 15 June 1859, an American farmer shot a British-owned pig on the islands after it had invaded his garden, sparking an international incident as US soldiers from Oregon and British warships from Vancouver Island moved in. However, when word of the crisis reached Washington and London, the situation was defused and left to arbitration.

Kansas votes to become a free state

The electorate of Kansas Territory approved the Wyandotte Constitution by a 2-1 margin, establishing that Kansas would be a Free State when it joined the Union.

Raid on Harpers Ferry

22 abolitionist insurgents led by John Brown raided the armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Intending to arm a mass slave uprising but lacking virtually any popular support or manpower, the insurgents were defeated by 88 marines and soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee. Brown was soon tried, convicted, and executed for treason, insurrection, and first-degree murder.

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