Midnight Rising: A New Look at John Brown

Midnight Rising: A New Look at John Brown

Harpers Ferry is only a few hours away; great for a hike or trip. But its more than that. It's arguably the location where the Civil War started, two years earlier than most people think...

In the early morning darkness of October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and 18 others launched a bloody raid on the armory in Harpers Ferry, WV. Angry locals, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee, thwarted Brown’s plans, and the most of the insurrectionists not killed in the fighting were ultimately executed. But the uprising was “the 9/11 of 1859,” says author Tony Horwitz --it exposed the deep rift between North and South and served as a brutal warning for war that would start 16 months later. We take a fresh look at the legacy of John Brown.


Tony Horwitz

author, 'Midnight Rising:John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War' (Henry Holt)

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Excerpted from "Midnight Rising" by Tony Horwitz. Copyright 2011 by Tony Horwitz.Published in 2011 by Henry Holt and Company. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher:

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