"Harpers Ferry" Harpers Ferry National Historical Park by seagoingJLW

The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers come together at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where West Virginia meets Virginia and Maryland.

Harpers Ferry was the home of the first interchageable manufacture. It saw the arrival of the first successful American railroad. Then came John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Union troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves. Yes, Harpers Ferry had one of the first integrated schools in the United States.

John Brown thought that he could free the slaves. He chose Harpers Ferry as his starting point. He wanted the 100,000 weapons in the Armory there. He launched his raid on October 16, 1859 with a 21 man army. Within 36 hours, with most of his men killed or wounded, he was captured in the Armory fire engine house when US Marines stormed the building.

Brown was found guilty of treason, of conspiring with slaves to rebel, and of murder. He was hanged December 2, 1859.

The picture is from a November 1859 issue of Harper's Weekly.

  • Intro Written Dec 31, 2002
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