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The Green Tunnel

Apr 18, 2023

Long before Harpers Ferry, Virginia became the emotional halfway point for Appalachian Trail thru hikers, it was the site of one of the most important events in 19th century American history.  In the fall of 1859, the abolitionist John Brown and 22 of his compatriots attacked the federal arsenal there, hoping to spark an insurrection against slavery in the American South on the eve of the Civil War.

On today's episode, historian Jonathan Earle of Louisiana State University explores Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry and the landscape hikers now pass through today.

Further Reading:

AT hiker photographs: []

Jonathan Earle, John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry: A Brief History with Documents (2008).

Harpers Ferry Stories from the National Park Service:

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia: An Annotated Edition, ed. Robert Pierce Forbes (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2022), 36-38. 

Pete Seeger, America’s Favorite Ballads, Vol. 3, Folkways Records, 1959, vinyl.

Harpers Ferry Stories from the National Park Service: