Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
"The War That Ended Slavery"
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
"The War That Ended Slavery"
Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, from his 1881 Storer College Commencement speech
"I want to free all the negroes in this [slave] state ... if the citizens interfere with me I must only burn the town and have blood," declared John Brown at the start of the October 16-18, 1859 raid. Brown and his 18 men captured and held the armory for 36 hours. As the tide turned against the raiders trapped in the fire engine house in front of you, their leader John Brown ordered "take aim, and make every shot count." U.S. Marines battered through the door, wounded and captured Brown, and ended the raid. Brown was hanged for murder, treason and inciting a slave insurrection. Just a few years later, United States Colored Troops marched through Harpers Ferry to fight for the Union and freedom.
Inside the engine house, Brown and his raiders fired through holes in the walls and doors. Brown reportedly told his dying son Oliver, "If you die, you die in a good cause, fighting for liberty..."
John Brown 1800-1859 (At the time of the raid, John
Outside the fire engine house, U.S. Marines, commanded by Robert E. Lee, ended the raid on October 18, 1859. Sixteen people died in the raid.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Education • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓 series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 16, 1859.
Location. 39° 19.387′ N, 77° 43.774′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Shenandoah Street and Potomac Street, on the right when traveling east on Shenandoah Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Brown (here, next to this marker); Weapons Under Fire (here, next to this marker); Federal Armory (a few steps from this marker); A Nation's Armory (a few steps from this marker); John Brown Fort (a few steps from this marker); Large Arsenal (within shouting distance of this marker); Large Arsenal Foundation (within shouting distance of this marker); Capture of Harpers Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
Additional keywords. USCT
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 9 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on December 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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