Some say John Brown was a hero. Some say he was a lunatic. No one denies that his raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry caught the world’s attention. In this famous painting by H. Webb Keaty, which was painted for the 1904 World’s Fair, visitors see doctors attending to an ailing Brown – making sure he was well enough to stand trial and hang. You can see a noose that was allegedly used to hang him and the lock and key from his cell.
Literary authors and historians have added to John Brown’s legacy with books, poems, songs and historic accounts of the raid at Harpers Ferry. This discovery room offers just a few samples of the wealth of historic materials in the West Virginia collection.
Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees