United States Landmarks: Harper’s Ferry


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Harper’s Ferry


Harper’s Ferry is best known as the site of John Brown’s 1859 seizure of the federal arsenal located there. Brown, a fierce abolitionist who had been involved in the murders of at least five slavery advocates in “Bleeding Kansas”, had formulated a plan to hijack the arsenal. He hoped his actions would facilitate a massive slave revolt in the South. Although he was successful in seizing the arsenal, his plan lacked any additional action. He was soon surrounded by an army detachment and captured. Several of his sons who were involved were killed in the process. John Brown was convicted of treason and hanged in December of 1859.



Related Links to Harper’s Ferry

John Brown

John Brown Rebellion in Depth

Learn all about John Brown and his audacious plan to seize the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.

Harper's Ferry

Battle of Harper’s Ferry

Learn all about this decisive Confederate victory in 1862 as part of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.


Causes of the Civil War

John Brown’s Raid at Harper’s Ferry was one of the main causes of the Civil War. click above to learn about the many other causes of the Civil War, which could be traced all the back to at least 1820.



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