Skip to comments.Prelude to the Civil War; Four states mark the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid
Posted on 03/21/2009 7:02:03 AM PDT by Liz
A series of reenactments, dramatic productions, family activities and special tours are scheduled this year as Civil War sites in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania commemorate the 150th anniversary of abolitionist John Browns October 1859 raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Although the raid itself failed, it succeeded in exacerbating the divide between North and South, pushing the nation closer to civil war.
Before the raid, negotiations and a compromise between North and South might have been possible; however, after the attackand Browns trial and hangingemotions ran so high that armed conflict became inevitable, says Tom Riford of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
At the time, Brown was denounced on both sides of the MasonDixon Line as a terrorist and an enemy of the Union, but others just as passionately revered him as a martyr. Brown inspires those same polarized opinions among todays visitors to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (nps.gov/hafe), says Todd Bolton, events committee chair for the John Brown Sesquicentennial Quad-State Committee (johnbrownraid.org). Our job at Harpers Ferry is to present the facts and the history, and let people decide for themselves, he says.
There will be plenty of opportunities this year to learn about Brown, beginning on April 18 with the first Signature Event of the sesquicentennial: Prelude to History: The Wedding of Virginia Kennedy at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The days attractions include a dramatic monologue about the raid told from the perspective of the wife of raider John Cook. Visitors can also enjoy period music, youth activities and tours of the Lower Town at Harpers Ferry, which has been preserved as it appeared during the Civil War era.
The town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, lies at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, bordering Maryland and Virginia. The 3,500-acre National Park extends into all three states. Brown had his northern headquarters in Pennsylvania, the fourth member of the quad-state committee. On May 22, the John Brown House in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, will be rededicated and reopened after a major renovation.
The Kennedy Farmhouse in Samples Manor, Maryland, staging place for the raid, will host a rare open house with tours and demonstrations July 12. Frederick County, Maryland, attracts the spotlight August 89 for its Militia and Fire Company Days, with displays of antique fire-fighting equipment. Other events happen throughout the summer and fall, including regular ranger-guided tours of Brown-related sites in the National Park and surrounding areas.
The centerpiece of the sesquicentennial observation takes place in the Harpers Ferry area October 1618, 150 years to the day after the raid and subsequent siege. Following a twilight reenactment Friday of Browns six-mile march to Harpers Ferry, the commemoration continues on Saturday and Sunday with a full slate of music, living history, family activities and ranger-guided programs.
Because of the significance of the raid, the John Brown Sesquicentennial is regarded as a prelude to the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which the nation will observe from 2011 to 2015.
Theresa Gawlas Medoff
Learn more about the Civil War and the nations sesquicentennial plans at cwar.nps.gov/civilwar/abcivwarSesqInit.htm. The information in this story was accurate when it was published in the March/April 2009 issue of AAA World, but dates, times and prices may have changed since then. We suggest you verify such details directly with the listed establishments before making travel plans.
Waco is in no way comparable to the institution of slavery and you would clearly have been indifferent to the sufferings of slaves in that day. Be grateful you were not born under such circumstances because that was the United States’ great sin and it did need to be purged through blood.
‘Bleeding Kansas’ was in fact a war zone. Those murdered were leaders of the slave movement that murdered, brutalized, and was actively involved in stealing an election process and denying opposition. So, yes, it was warfare that Brown moved from Kansas to the slave states that were involving themselves in the equation of spreading it further to other states and the continuing issue of the humanity of slavery in a country that was supposed to stand for freedom.
Brown was fighting the slave states and an institution that this country was grossly hypocritical on and involved the lives of those unfortunate to be born of the wrong origin and pigment to be treated as their ‘master’ saw fit. I don’t see the comparisons and find it sickening that some don’t want to admit to the great shame that slavery was to this ‘free’ country. Like I say, easy for you to look at it as ho-hum, carry on and no bloodshed. It was a tremendous wrong that needed to be righted and it was already 83 yrs. and nothing being done about it.
Innocent people are always killed in warfare. Those in Kansas were the equivilent of Charles Manson as far as I’m concerned with what they were doing to abolitionists.
And just where do you come up with that? Obviously not ALL of the slaves were brutalized and many became part of families, but to deny that it was completely A-OK for the whims of the master to treat them as how they saw fit and for many it was brutal-rape, beatings, separation of families, nasty living conditions. There is nothing romantic about slavery and you need to step away from the notion that it was somehow OK and the ‘majority’ weren’t treated that way. Even one more day was an injustice to the many slaves who were victims of its ugliness.
Yeah, but the precious South just couldn’t stop meddling in Kansas and spreading slavery elsewhere and using violent and vicious means to stop opposition to the despicable institution.
Yeah, how convenient to grasp onto an unfortunate casualty to further the cause to deny opposition to ending an institution that would have had that poor man back in chains and being left at the mercy of his ‘master’.
However, they had no freedom! Just like in the land of Hope and Change.
Wouldn’t it be something if in the next life you experienced the life of one of those lucky slaves?! I mean it’s just something to aim for to know how good they had it and how this was nothing but a pesky issue that should have dragged on another day. Learn the story of Dangerfield Newby, who was the first raider to die, and what he went through in an attempt to free his wife and children. THAT is what it was about.
That argument is made a lot, but when you get down to it, it was about keeping their “n***ers” as they would say. They were not shedding blood over anything else. Not a cause I would have been proud to have died for. Sad there were a lot of ignorant men who went to their deaths for such a cause. Misguided, but that was it just the same.
Yes, it would have been much more prudent to procrastinate for more yrs. and yrs. with the same old, same old while countless slaves were sent to their grave because they were nothing more than a mule, a horse, a pig to be led to slaugher or something for personal enjoyment and so what if their offspring gets sold off elsewhere because they can live happily knowing it’s what they were born for! Freedom is not free. The United States paid dearly for its sins and it had to.
Brown was a murdering butchering terrorist who practiced his terrorism in Kansas, not a slave state. He drug slavery sympathisers from their homes in the dead of the night and disembowled them in front of their wives and children. He did it because "God was whispering in his ear" These were not slave holders he did this to, but common people who thought slavery was ok.
You keep wanting to turn this discussion to slavery when my remarks have been about John Brown and how he operated. I get it- slavery bad, now you need to get it, terrorism bad too even when you believe God is telling you to gut people while their children watch.
Excellent logic, and point.
yeah whatever a lot that violent and vicious means was carried out up north by mops who were deeply opposed to abolition
and I will not mention the northern slave traders or the African chiefs that sold members of the less sophisticated tribes as slaves after raiding and burning their villages
it's so like a DY to believe the worst of us southrons.
the FACTS are that The War Between the States was:
a. from the northern perspective, ONLY about keeping the south IN the union & SUBSERVIENT to northern industrial/financial interests.
b. from the southron perspective, it was about getting our FREEDOM.
it's really no more complicated than this: you & 99% of modern Americans have been LIED TO & MADE FOOLS OF by "your betters", who cared NOTHING for the "plight of the slaves" in the 19th century & NOTHING about you NOW.
they just want you DY sympathizers to HATE the south & southerners.
NOTHING, from first to last that they disd, was decent/honorable or even well-intentioned. (face it, you're defending FILTH.)
that is the TRUTH, despite the bilge that you've been force-fed, in the "gubmint appruved publick screwls".
a neutral examination of the FACTS of the period shows up the DY government & "the lincoln misadministration" to be the cheap scheming politicians/nitwits/crooks/bigots/antisemites/south-HATERS that they actually were.
face it, you've been LIED TO & MADE A FOOL OF your whole life. further, "your betters" in the hate-FILLED bastions of DAMNyankeedom "laugh up their sleeves" at anyone who believes their SELF-serving, intentional lies.
nearly a MILLION people died NEEDLESSLY for a pack of DAMNyankee LIES. it's really no more complicated than that.