The Battle of Black Jack occurred June 2, 1856 when abolitionist John Brown led a group of free-state Kansas settlers against pro-slavery forces from Missouri. The fight occurred at the Black Jack campground, a resting stop along the Santa Fe Trail.
Though small in scale, Black Jack had implications far beyond the Kansas Territory. Black Jack was the first armed conflict leading up to the Civil War, marking an increased level of violence associated with “Bleeding Kansas.” The engagement was widely publicized, propelling Brown to national attention and leading to his raid at Harper’s Ferry.
Heritage Strategies principal Peter Benton developed an interpretive plan and a master plan for the battlefield, which involved coordinating stakeholders, identifying interpretive themes, designing walking trails and exhibits, and outlining a phased program of site improvements.