1859: Mississippi begins to militarize after John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry, Virginia
Brown, an abolitionist, had attempted to incite a slave revolt but was convicted of treason and hanged. In response to the raid, the Mississippi legislature, at Governor McWillie’s urging, approved the expansion of the state militia.
Image: This flag was hand-stitched by the ladies of Brandon for the Rankin Guards, a militia company formed in 1858. Their numbers swelled following Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.