John Brown's Raid
Harpers Ferry and the Coming of the Civil War, October 16-18, 1859
Imprint: Savas Beatie
192 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 160+ images, 8 maps
- March 2023
- In Stock
The shot came like a meteor in the dark.
John Brown, the infamous fighter on the Kansas plains and detester of slavery, led a band of nineteen men on a desperate nighttime raid that targeted the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. There, they planned to begin a war to end slavery in the United States.
But after 36 tumultuous hours, John Brown’s Raid failed, and Brown himself became a prisoner of the state of Virginia.
Brown’s subsequent trial further divided north and south on the issue of slavery as Brown justified his violent actions to a national audience forced to choose sides. Ultimately, Southerners cheered Brown’s death at the gallows while Northerners observed it with reverence. The nation’s dividing line had been drawn.
Herman Melville and Walt Whitman extolled Brown as a “meteor” of the war. Roughly one year after Brown and his men attacked slavery in Virginia, the nation split apart, fueled by Brown’s fiery actions.
John Brown’s Raid tells the story of the first shots that led to disunion. Richly filled with maps and images, it includes a driving and walking tour of sites related to Brown’s Raid so visitors today can follow the path of America’s meteor.
“Gilot and Pawlak have touched all bases in explaining who John Brown was, why he came to Harpers Ferry, what happened, and what it all meant. Gilot and Pawlak have written an excellent introductory account of John Brown and his raid, and this reviewer recommends it to those who know little about the events, as well as to those more familiar with them.” ~The NYMAS Review