Harper's Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Harper's Ferry History
Hayward Shepard - Another Perspective
On October 17, 1859, abolitionist John Brown attacked Harper’s Ferry to launch a war against slavery, Heyward Shepard, a free African American railroad baggage master, was shot and killed by Brown’s men shortly after midnight.
Seventy-two years later, on October 10, 1931, a crowd estimated to include 300 Whites and 100 Blacks gathered to unveil and dedicate the Heyward Shepard monument.
During the ceremony, voices raised to praise and denounce the monument. Conceived around the turn of the century, the monument has endured controversy. In 1905, the United Daughters of the Confederacy stated that “erecting the monument would influence for good the present and coming generations, and prove that the people of the South who owned slaves valued and respected their good qualities as no one else ever did or will do.”
In 1932, W.E.B. DuBois founder of the Niagara Movement and a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), responded to the Shepard monument by penning these words:
Here, John Brown aimed at human slavery a blow that woke a guilty nation. With him fought seven slaves and sons of slaves. Over his crucified corpse marched 200,000 Black soldiers and 4,000,000 freedmen singing: “John
Erected by National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker series.
Location. 39° 19.399′ N, 77° 43.805′ W. Marker is in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Potomac Street 0 miles west of Shenandoah Street (U.S. 340), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is adjacent to the "Hayward Shepard" monument. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hayward Shepherd (here, next to this marker); White Hall Tavern (a few steps from this marker); John Brown Monument (a few steps from this marker); Lewis and Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Armory Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Short-lived Sanctuary (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown's Last Stand (within shouting distance of this marker); Federal Armory (within shouting distance of this marker).
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Civil Rights • Notable Events •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,425 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on August 31, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on September 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.