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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Short-lived Sanctuary

 
 
Short-lived Sanctuary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Henry T. McLin, July 2, 2009
1. Short-lived Sanctuary Marker
Inscription. Thousands of enslaved people fled to the Union lines at Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Some of them found shelter in the "contraband camp" located near here in the shadow of John Brown's Fort. Their freedom and safety were always in jeopardy. Any withdrawal of the Union forces left them vulnerable to slave-catchers, notorious for capturing people of color and selling them into slavery. After the confederate capture of Harpers Ferry in 1862, Union Colonel William Trimble recalled watching "hundreds of men, women, and children, bond and free, driven past; their bowed heads and sad countenances telling the tale of their disappointed hopes."

The Union Army classified people who fled slavery and sought shelter with the Army as "contrabands." To house them the Army created temporary "contraband camps" like this one in Harpers Ferry.

The young boy (back left) pictured with Union Troops at Harpers Ferry is one of thousands who sought employment and relative safety with the Union.
 
Erected by Harpers Ferry National Historic Site - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 39° 19.412′ N, 77° 43.787′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker
Short-lived Sanctuary Marker looking toward the John Brown Monument. image. Click for full size.
By Henry T. McLin, July 1, 2009
2. Short-lived Sanctuary Marker looking toward the John Brown Monument.
is on Potomac Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. 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. John Brown's Last Stand (here, next to this marker); John Brown Monument (a few steps from this marker); Armory Grounds (a few steps from this marker); Six Acres That Changed the World (within shouting distance of this marker); Home of Joseph Perkins (within shouting distance of this marker); Hayward Shepherd (within shouting distance of this marker); A Perfect Heap of Ruins (within shouting distance of this marker); Harper's Ferry History (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsWar, US Civil
 
Markers Overlooking John Brown's Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
3. Markers Overlooking John Brown's Fort
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2009, by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,063 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 3, 2009, by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on October 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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