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John Browns Fort

West Virginia Historic Site

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In October 1859, abolitionist John Brown attempted to take control of the Harpers Ferry Armory and rifle works. Brown hoped to gather an army of slaves to lead a revolt that would end slavery. Brown's raid brought the state militia and marines from Washington. In this building, then used as a fire engine and guard house, John Brown and several of his followers barricaded themselves during the final hours of their ill-fated raid of October 16, 17, and 18, 1859. During the Civil War, the John Brown Fort was used as a prison, a powder magazine, and perhaps a quartermaster supply house. n 1891, the fort was sold, dismantled and transported to Chicago where it was displayed a short distance from The World's Columbian Exposition. It was later dismantled and returned to Harpers Ferry, where it was rebuilt on land owned by Storer College. In 1968, the building was acquired by the National Park Service and move to its current site, about 150 feet from its original location.

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Contact Information
National Park Service
P.O. Box 65
Harpers Ferry WV 25425