Kick Off of Harper's Ferry Raid Sesquicentennial
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) May 25, 2009- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park kicks off the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with the re-enactment of a historic speech about John Brown.
Brown staged an 1859 raid on a Union arsenal, in hopes of starting a guerrilla war on slavery. But the raid failed and Brown was hanged for treason and murder.
On May 30, actor Fred Morsell will recreate a speech that escaped slave and fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass later gave about the raid's impact.
Douglass said it proved the time for compromise was gone, and only a clash of arms would resolve whether the institution of slavery would survive.
The speech is the first in a series of events commemorating Brown's raid from now through December.
The anniversary of the raid is October 16.