History on Location Follow-Up: Part Three – Harper’s Ferry and Charles Town

Note:  This entry continues this one and this one.

Thursday was split between Harpers Ferry, Charles Town and Antietam.  Harpers Ferry falls on the top of my personal list of sites from this trip to which I’m looking forward to returning.  For some reason, I had always imagined the arsenal to be a fort sitting in the middle of a desolate field:  instead, I find a picturesque historic village that is not only the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers but of industrialism, abolition, Civil War, and modern civil rights history (details in this packet.)  After a choral reading of runaway slave notices (led by the Hapers Ferry’s Education Coordinator and taken from American Notes and American Slavery As It Is), we contrasted John Brown’s personal story with Lincoln’s, considered whether or not Brown’s recent successful raid in Missouri left him reasonably confident for this raid’s prospects, and how to deal with questions of violence in teaching our students.  We critically considered multiple monuments, including a somewhat hidden commemoration from the Daughters of the Confederation. From Harpers Ferry, we went to Charles Town – where a small historical society houses multiple Brown-related artifacts from the trial and execution.  Charles Town offered further evidence that the South won:  A city brochure for this West Virginian town – an area that radically seceded from Virginia in order to join the Union – described it as a Confederate stronghold (the perfect lead to our return home, where we were welcomed by Virginia’s governor proclaiming April “Confederate History Month.”)

Audio Files:

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3 responses to “History on Location Follow-Up: Part Three – Harper’s Ferry and Charles Town

  1. Pingback: History On Location Part 4: Antietam, Lincoln’s Cottage, Ford’s Theatre « Teaching American History in SW Washington

  2. Pingback: History on Location Follow-Up Part 5: Archives, African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, American History Museum « Teaching American History in SW Washington

  3. Pingback: Another round of Lesson Study « Teaching American History in SW Washington

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