Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Storer College 1867-1955
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Recognizing the importance of education for former slaves, the government’s Freedmen’s Bureau began a school here in 1864, and by 1867—bolstered by a $10,000 donation by Maine philanthropist John Storer—the missionary Freewill Baptists had transformed four abandoned government mansions on Camp Hill into an integrated normal school.
With the development of Jim Crow laws and legal segregation during the last quarter of the 19th century, however, Storer gradually evolved into an all-black school that—at its peak—featured a campus of 20 buildings and an enrollment of 100 students. Due to its symbolic association with John Brown, Storer College on occasion existed as a mecca for those who advocated equality and social justice for American blacks, Storer trustee Frederick Douglass praised John Brown in a famous oration delivered here in 1881, and 25 years later in 1906. W.E.B. Dubois and the Second Niagara Movement convened at Storer in a meeting that eventually resulted in the formation
With the end of legal segregation in 1954, and burdened by financial and enrollment problems—Storer closed its doors in 1955
Erected by National Park Service, US Department of Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Education • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series list.
Location. 39° 19.454′ N, 77° 44.449′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Fillmore Street and Storer College Place, on the right when traveling east. The marker is on the grounds of the Stephen T. Mather Training Center, formerly the grounds of Storer College. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 51 Mather Place, 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. Camp Hill during the Civil War (here, next to this marker); A Land Divided (a few steps from this marker); The Niagara Movement at Storer College (a few steps from this marker); John Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Foundations of Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); Church and School (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephen Tyng Mather (within shouting distance of this marker); Storer College Veterans Memorial Gate (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
Also see . . . Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. National Park Service (Submitted on August 4, 2016.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 4, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 334 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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