Barclay Coppock

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Edwin Coppock, Barclay's brother, redirects here.

Barclay Coppock[1]
Edwin Coppock

Barclay Coppock (January 4, 1839 – September 4, 1861)[2] was a follower of John Brown and a Union Army soldier in the American Civil War. Along with his brother Edwin Coppock (June 30, 1835 – December 16, 1859), he participated in Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. In historic documents their last name was variously spelled "Coppock", "Coppoc", or "Coppac". The Coppock brothers were raised in Springdale, Iowa, where they met Brown while he was raising support for his Kansas anti-slavery raids. Edwin was hanged in Charlestown, Virginia (now Charles Town, West Virginia) and is buried in Hope Cemetery in Salem, Ohio. Barclay escaped, returning to Springdale and eventually escaping to Canada.

On January 23, 1860, about three months after the Harpers Ferry raid, Iowa governor Samuel Kirkwood received from a representative of the governor of Virginia a requisition "for one Barclay Coppock, reputed to be a fugitive from the justice of Virginia". Kirkwood found the requisition deficient in legal form and returned it to Virginia. Barclay was gone by the time Kirkwood received the corrected papers.[3][4] Barclay later joined the Union Army during the American Civil War and served as a recruiting officer. He was killed in action when Confederate sabotage derailed his train over the Platte River,[5][6] an incident called the Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy.


  1. ^ Both photos from A topical history of Cedar County, Iowa, Volume 1 (1910) Clarence Ray Aurner, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company
  2. ^ The Palimpsest (November 1928) Vol. 9.
  3. ^ Clark, Dan Elbert, Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, p. 152, cited in Bergmann, Leola Nelson, The Negro in Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, The State Historical Society of Iowa, 1969, p. 27.
  4. ^ The Iowa City Republican, February 1, 1860, cited in Bergmann, Leola Nelson, The Negro in Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, The State Historical Society of Iowa, 1969, p. 27.
  5. ^ Gibson Lamb Cranmer (1891) History of the upper Ohio Valley, Volume 2 p.270. Madison:Brant & Fuller
  6. ^ John Brown and His Followers in Iowa Midland Monthly Magazine (1894) Vol. 1, pp. 262-267.
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