Talk:John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry

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Why doesn't John Brown's Raid redirect here? Instead it redirects to John Brown. It just seems silly — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:29, November 10, 2008

Fixed it. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 04:03, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Local Militia[edit]

If anyone could figure out the name (names?) of the local militia commander at Harpers Ferry before Lee arrived that would be fantastic! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Harpers Ferry[edit]

Remember, it's Harpers Ferry, not Harper's Ferry. I just changed several instances of the latter spelling throughout this page. CopaceticThought (talk) 06:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Someone must have changed your changes. :-( I just went back and made them Harpers Ferry again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Freedie (talkcontribs) 02:29, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

FWIW, the naming convention is much more fluid for Harpers Ferry in the 19th Century than today. Period accounts waver back and forth between possessive and not. The problem is so prevalent that it often helps, when searching a database, to use a wildcard between the "r" and "s". Not that it should go back, but just be aware when incorporating primary material, that it mightn't be an transcription error. (talk) 16:49, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

The source of the change was the 1890 decision by the US Board on Geographic Names to discourage use of the apostrophe in almost all place names. As such what was known as "Harper's Ferry" in the Civil War era became the town of Harpers Ferry, but much much later. I don't think it's historically appropriate to call it the "raid on Harpers Ferry" as that name did not exist at the time. --Dhartung | Talk 09:03, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Consensus in contemporary historical sources, based on Google Books and Google Scholar searches, is to spell the town name without the apostrophe. – flamurai (t) 04:37, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Relationship to Civil War[edit]

This event is taught as a significant precursor to the American Civil War, but the article doesn't mention that. -- Beland (talk) 07:44, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Awkward placement of sentence[edit]

"In 1794, George Washington selected the site of Harpers Ferry for the location of a federal arsenal. John H. Hall was contracted to manufacture his rifle in the town."

This sentence needs to be moved into the appropriate section of the article. --Alexanderaltman (talk) 02:32, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Participant discrepancy[edit]

The list in the box at the top has 21 participants, but the list at the bottom of the page has 22 names. Which is correct? Is there an extra name in the list or is the a miscount on the box? (talk) 23:33, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

John Starry[edit]

What about Dr John Starry? He gets mentioned promimently on Harper's_Ferry#John_Brown.27s_raid, but there's no mention of him here. -- (talk) 22:47, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

"First White Man to use violence in an attempt to end slavery..."[edit]

Someone has already marked this line as needing citation, and I just want to reiterate that with some skepticism here in the comments. Positioned, as his raid, and all his previous actions are some of the last significant pre-civil war violent anti-slavery actions, it seems incredibly unlikely that John Brown was the first white man to use violence to fight slavery. Granted, his enthusiastic participation in the "bleeding Kansas" crisis gives him several years precedent during which he was also involved in anti-slavery violence, but the line in this article implies a link between Brown's supposed status as the first white man to use violence to fight slavery and the Harpers Ferry raid, suggesting that this was the first time a white man had done so.

At the very least, that implication needs to be remedied, because Brown himself was involved in violent anti-slavery actions for several years prior to the raid. More likely, though, is that he can in no way be considered the first white man to use violence to fight slavery. A cursory look revealed no other likely candidates for the honor, but I'm sure someone with more knowledge of the subject could find at least one instance of a white person participating in a violent anti-slavery action that took place prior to Brown's involvement in Kansas in the 1850s. I simply can't believe there isn't one documented instance of this in the seventy-odd years prior to that, and that's assuming we're only looking so far back as the founding of the country (slaves were here before the revolution). (talk) 10:39, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

May well be true. I can't recall any historian mentioning a possible counter-example. Rjensen (talk) 10:50, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
According to this timeline, the British Navy started to fight slavery in 1807. In 1816 the British and Dutch attacked Algiers in order to free Christian slaves and end enslavement of Europeans. James Brooke, the "White Raja" of Sarawak, liberated slaves while fighting pirates. LesLein (talk) 00:32, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
slavery was quite legal in the British Empire (including Canada and the Caribbean) until 1833 -- the Royal Navy was stopping the slave TRADE (from Africa) which was illegal in Britain and the US from 1808.
Good catch. My point is still valid. Starting in 1833 the Brits must have used violence to enforce the law and liberate slaves. Brooke appears to be another valid case. Another example is from Syracuse, NY in 1851. A group of blacks and whites broke into the police station to liberate a slave arrested under the Fugitive Slace Act. I found some good material in McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom on the aftermath in the south. Over the weekend I'll use it to replace the unsourced material. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LesLein (talkcontribs) 01:31, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


I created Category:John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. I was thinking of creating an category titled "People associated with John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry". Is that recommendable? I believe I could put at least 10 articles in said proposed category?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:25, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

I added this category to George Luther Stearns article.Juan Riley (talk) 16:14, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Article needs a section on the Mason report[edit]

AKA the "Senate Select Committee Report on the Harper’s Ferry Invasion" c. 1860. E.g., The stuff on Stearns' testimony is quite red meat. Any good historians out there? Juan Riley (talk) 16:19, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

After re-reading the article, I also think that there is a glaring absence of monetary and material support for Brown, e.g., the Secret Six. Juan Riley (talk) 19:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)