Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Harper's Ferry is a small city in West Virginia at the junction of the Potomac (p-t´ mk) and Shenandoah (shn´n-d´å) rivers. It is not now an important city but it figured largely in our history during the Civil War. In October, 1859, John Brown with nineteen other men, five of whom were negroes, appeared at Harper's Ferry. They seized the United States arsenal (är´s-nl) there but were able to hold it only two days. Colonel Robert E. Lee, then in the United States army, led the troops which captured Brown. John Brown was to hold the arsenal until other men came to help him. With this as a center, raids could be made into the South to free the slaves. This event stirred the whole nation. The site of the arsenal is marked by the white monument just beyond the station. At the right of the monument are several bronze tablets which tell the whole story. The arsenal itself was moved to the top of the hill behind the town and belongs to Storer College, a school for colored people. On the top of this same hill also, the Union forces made their last stand and surrendered to Stonewall Jackson in 1861. In the foreground we see the Potomac River crossed by two great bridges, one for trains and one for foot passengers and vehicles. In the background is the Shenandoah River down which the Confederates came to Antietam (n-t´tm) and to Gettysburg. This scene was photographed from a hill in Maryland. Harper's Ferry and the hill behind are in West Virginia, while the farther shore of the Shenandoah is in Virginia. Which way is Harper's Ferry from Washington? Why was the Shenandoah Valley famous? Keystone ID: 184 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.