Tag Archives: John Brown’s Raid

“But his soul goes marching on.” Brown, Douglass, and the Radicals

Today abolitionism is praised with few reservations, but it was a fringe movement in the 1830s. Its followers took a lonely moral stand. William Lloyd Garrison in 1831 declared “I am in earnest. I will not equivocate – I will … Continue reading

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The Reason for Harpers Ferry and Why John Brown Raided It

While working as a ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, I often began my tours about the United States Armory with this simple question to visitors: “Why are you here today?” Common answers included vacation, an interest in history, … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Battlefields & Historic Places, Slavery, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

John Wise (The Governor’s Son) Responds To John Brown’s Raid

Twelve-year-old John Wise watched history happen. He would later recall “The End of An Era” in a book with the same title, detailing his memories of growing up in Antebellum Virginia, living through the Civil War, and actually embracing many … Continue reading

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Heyward Shepherd Memorialized (Sort Of)

On one hand, it’s fitting that a monument commemorates Heywood Shepherd. A night watchman at Harpers Ferry, Shepherd stumbled across John Brown’s raiders on the night of October 16, 1859. They called to Shepherd to surrender, but he refused, and … Continue reading

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Governor Wise’s Response To John Brown’s Raid

When violence broke out at Harper’s Ferry, Henry A. Wise was governor of Virginia. In the aftermath of the raid, Virginians were on edge: fears of slave revolt were everywhere and the feeling grew that the Federal Government could not … Continue reading

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Book Review: Midnight Rising

…follow him they did, swearing allegiance to his revolutionary government and marching into Virginia to found a new order. Within two years, entire armies would cross the Potomac, and this obscured the magnitude of what happened in 1859. The street … Continue reading

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October The Sixteenth – “Alive With Ghosts Today”

Perhaps You will remember John Brown. John Brown Who took his gun, Took twenty-one companions, White and black, Went to shoot your way to freedom Where two rivers meet And the hills of the North And the hills of the … Continue reading

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An Eyewitness Account of John Brown’s Raid

Reverend Michael Costello was the pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church at Harpers Ferry, [West] Virginia during John Brown’s Raid. A native of County Galway, Ireland, Costello studied at All Hallows College in Dublin for the Diocese of Richmond. On … Continue reading

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John Brown’s Raid 160th: An Introduction

One hundred and sixty years ago this month (October 2019), twenty-two men embarked on a mission that shocked the nation and accelerated the rush toward Civil War. The event is now popularly called “John Brown’s Raid” and is viewed as … Continue reading

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Saving History Saturday: Allstadt’s Corner Site Officially Transferred to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

On August 17, 2019, a momentous occasion occurred at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. That day, the American Battlefield Trust officially transferred the Allstadt’s Corner property to the park. Totaling 13 acres in size, the property transfer included the historic … Continue reading

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