Texas auction house to sell John Brown leg irons


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The leg irons that restrained abolitionist John Brown after his failed 1859 raid on a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry are being sold Saturday in Texas.

But officials with two historical parks dedicated to his legacy can't afford to bid.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions estimates the shackles are worth at least $10,000.

Idaho resident John Boling, whose family has long owned them, says he hopes the buyer will display them publicly.

Many scholars believe Brown's raid hastened the start of the Civil War. He'd planned to arm slaves he believed would join him in a guerrilla war, but his rebellion was quickly crushed.

Brown was tried for treason and murder, convicted and hanged.

The Connecticut native was hanged in Charles Town. He's buried on his former farmstead in North Elba, N.Y.

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