It was in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., at the confluence of two rivers — the Potomac and Shenandoah — that George Washington decided to build a federal armory in 1794.
In was then Virginia, the largest slave-holding state in the young country. And it was there, on Oct. 16, 1859, that John Brown made his famous raid seeking to end slavery forever.
The story is told in a new book, “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War.” Author Tony Horwitz joined me at Harpers Ferry recently to talk about a man and event that continue to resonate, fascinate and confound down to our own time.
You can watch Horwitz read an excerpt from his book below:
You can read the transcript here.