Informacije

Harper's Ferry


Harper's Ferry

Karta Harper's Ferry

Mapa preuzeta iz Bitke i vođe građanskog rata: I: Sumter to Shiloh, p.115

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Nacionalni povijesni park Harpers Ferry

Nacionalni povijesni park Harpers Ferry, izvorno Nacionalni spomenik Harpers Ferry, nalazi se na ušću rijeka Potomac u Shenandoah ui oko Harpers Ferryja u Zapadnoj Virginiji. Sadrži najposjećenije historijsko mjesto u državi Zapadna Virdžinija, tvrđavu Johna Browna. [3]

Park uključuje zemljište u dolini Shenandoah u okrugu Jefferson, Washington, Washington, Maryland i County Loudoun, Virginia. Parkom upravlja Nacionalna služba parkova, agencija američkog Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova. Prvobitno proglašen nacionalnim spomenikom Harpers Ferry 1944. godine, park je 1963. američki Kongres proglasio nacionalnim historijskim parkom. Park uključuje historijski grad Harpers Ferry, poznat kao centar industrije iz 19. stoljeća i kao poprište John Browna neuspješan abolicionistički ustanak. Sastoji se od gotovo 4.000 jutara (16 km 2), a uključuje i mjesto na kojem je Thomas Jefferson jednom napisao: "Prolazak Potomaca kroz Plavi greben vjerojatno je jedna od najčudesnijih scena u prirodi" nakon što je posjetio to područje 1783. godine. [4] Zbog mješavine povijesnih događaja i brojnih mogućnosti za rekreaciju, sve unutar 80 kilometara od Washingtona, DC, park je uvršten u Nacionalni registar povijesnih mjesta 15. listopada 1966. godine. Načelnik je bio Tyrone Brandyburg. [5]

Park je prvobitno bio planiran kao spomen na Johna Browna, odgovornog za daleko najpoznatiji incident u povijesti Harpers Ferryja, njegovu raciju 1859. i zauzimanje savezne oružarnice. Zvaničnici NPS -a 1930 -ih fokusirali su se na raciju Johna Browna i građanski rat kako bi opravdali kupovinu dijelova Harpers Ferryja za istorijski i vojni park. Poput lika samog Johna Browna, ovo se pokazalo izuzetno kontroverznim, uz protivljenje Ujedinjenih kćeri Konfederacije i Sinova veterana Konfederacije. [6]: 86 2021. nije se spominjalo John Brown na početnoj stranici Parka (http://www.nps.gov/hafe). Iako postoje stranice na njemu, nije ih lako pronaći.


Harpers Ferry

Kako je njegova vojska Sjeverne Virdžinije napredovala u Maryland početkom septembra 1862. godine, general Robert E. Lee je planirao zauzeti vitalni unijski garnizon u Harpers Ferryju u pozadini njegovih osvajačkih snaga. Iako je vojska Potomaka generala Georgea McClellana bila u potjeri, Lee je podijelio svoju vojsku, poslavši tri kolone pod zapovjedništvom generala Thomasa “Stonewall” Jacksona u Harpers Ferry, dok je ostatak vojske marširao prema Hagerstownu, Maryland. Okružen sa tri strane strmim visinama, teren koji je okruživao grad činio je gotovo nemogućim odbranu, što je problem pogoršao komandant Unije, pukovnik Dixon S. Miles, koji nije imao iskustva u vođenju trupa. Tri dana, Jackson je postavljao topništvo na uzvišenja iznad Harpers Ferryja, a ujutro 15. septembra naredio je artiljerijsku paljbu koja je bombardirala grad, nakon čega je uslijedio pješadijski napad divizije general -majora A. P. Hill -a. Dok se raspravljalo o predaji, Milesa je pogodila granata koja mu je slomila lijevu nogu, rana koja se pokazala fatalnom. Jackson je preuzeo Harpers Ferry prije nego što se pridružio ostatku Leejeve vojske u Sharpsburgu, ostavljajući Hillovu diviziju da procesuira uvjetni otpust od 12.000 zatvorenika.


Originalni Harper's Ferry radio je od 1733. godine sve dok ga nije zamijenio drveni cestovni most oko 1824. godine na ušću rijeka Potomac u Shenandoah. [2] [3]

Izgrađen 1836–1837. Godine, [3] prvi prijelaz B & ampO-a preko Potomaka bio je drvena rešetka od 830 stopa (250 m). Bio je to jedini željeznički prijelaz rijeke Potomac do poslije građanskog rata. Jednokanalni most, koji se sastojao od šest riječnih raspona plus raspon preko kanala Chesapeake i Ohio, projektirao je Benjamin Henry Latrobe, II. [4]: 34 1837. željeznička pruga Winchester i Potomac stigla je do Harpers Ferryja s juga, a Latrobe ju je spojio s linijom B & ampO koristeći raspon "Y". [4]: 65

John Brown je koristio most B & ampO na početku svog neuspjelog pokušaja da pokrene pobunu robova u Virdžiniji i južnije.

Most je uništen tokom američkog građanskog rata, a privremeno je zamijenjen pontonskim mostom. [4]: 65

Dva današnja prijelaza, koji su na različitim tragovima, s kraja 19. stoljeća i početka 20. stoljeća. Čelični Prattov most sa rešetkama i nosačima od ploča izgrađen je 1894. godine kako bi nosio liniju B & ampO Valley (sada CSX Shenandoah Subdivision) prema Winchesteru, Virginia, uz rijeku Shenandoah. Ovo je 1930–1931. Dopunjeno mostom sa nosačima palubnih ploča koji vodi glavnu liniju Baltimore i Ohio Railroad (B & ampO) do Martinsburga u Zapadnoj Virginiji (linija je sada CSX Cumberland Subdivision).

Željeznički tunel izgrađen je istovremeno s mostom 1894. godine kako bi vodio liniju kroz Maryland Heights, eliminirajući oštar zavoj. Tridesetih godina prošlog stoljeća zapadni kraj tunela proširen je tokom izgradnje drugog mosta kako bi se omogućio najširi mogući zavoj preko rijeke.

Uređivanje nesreće

Dana 21. decembra 2019. teretni voz CSX iskočio je iz šina na mostu, šaljući nekoliko automobila u rijeku. Nije bilo povrijeđenih, a most je kasnije ponovo otvoren. [5]


Harpers Ferry Raid

Naši urednici će pregledati ono što ste poslali i odlučiti da li želite da prepravite članak.

Harpers Ferry Raid, (16. -18. Oktobra 1859.), napad oružane grupe abolicionista predvođene Johnom Brownom na saveznu oružarnicu koja se nalazi u Harpers Ferryju u Virdžiniji (sada u Zapadnoj Virdžiniji). Bio je to glavni incident koji je izazvao američki građanski rat.

Napad na Harpers Ferry trebao je biti prva faza u razrađenom planu za uspostavu nezavisnog uporišta oslobođenih robova u planinama Maryland i Virginia - poduzeća koje je dobilo moralnu i financijsku podršku od nekoliko uglednih Bostonaca. Odabravši Harpers Ferry zbog svog arsenala i zbog svoje lokacije kao prikladnog prolaza prema jugu, John Brown i njegova grupa od 16 bijelaca i pet crnaca zauzeli su oružarnicu u noći 16. oktobra.

Sporadične borbe vodile su se oko arsenala dva dana. Dana 18. oktobra, kombinovane državne i savezne trupe (potonjim kojima je komandovao pukovnik Robert E. Lee, uključujući i poručnika Jeba Stuarta) pokorile su Browna i njegove saradnike. U borbama je poginulo sedamnaest muškaraca. Brown je optužen za izdaju 25. oktobra. On i njegovih šestorica preživjelih sljedbenika obješeni su prije kraja godine.

Iako je napad na Harpers Ferry osudila većina Sjevernjaka, on je elektrificirao Jug - koji se već bojao pobune robova - i uvjerio robovlasnike da abolicionisti ništa neće zaustaviti kako bi iskorijenili ropstvo. Takođe je stvorilo mučenika, Johna Browna, za svrhu proturobništva. Kad je saznao da je Brown pogubljen, esejist, filozof i predani abolicionist Henry David Thoreau rekao je:

Čuo sam, sigurno, da je obješen, ali nisam znao šta to znači - i neću vjerovati ni nakon nekog broja dana. Od svih muškaraca za koje se kaže da su moji savremenici, čini mi se da je John Brown jedini koji nije umro.


Povijest Harpers Ferryja

Harpers Ferry prvi je put nastanio 1732. godine Peter Stephens, čija je prava quotquatter & quot; quotquot & quot; kupila 1747. godine Robert Harper, po kojem je grad i dobio ime. Oko 1750. Harper je dobio patent na 125 jutara zemlje (0.5 km²) na današnjoj lokaciji grada. Godine 1761. Harper je uspostavio trajekt preko rijeke Potomac, čime je grad postao polazište za doseljenike koji su se doselili u dolinu Shenandoah i zapadnije. 1763. Generalna skupština Virdžinije osnovala je grad & quot; Shenandoah Falls na gospodinu Harperu#39s Ferry. & Quot

Dana 25. oktobra 1783. Thomas Jefferson posjetio je Harpers Ferry. Gledao je "prolaz Potomaca kroz Plavi greben" sa stijene koja je sada nazvana po njemu. Jefferson je ovo mjesto nazvao "možda jednom od najčudesnijih scena u prirodi"

George Washington, kao predsjednik kompanije Patowmack (koja je osnovana kako bi dovršila poboljšanja rijeka na Potomacu i pritokama), otputovao je u ljeto 1785. godine u Harpers Ferry kako bi utvrdio potrebu za obilaznim kanalima. Godine 1794. Washington ga je upoznao s tim područjem, što ga je navelo da predloži lokaciju za novu oružnicu i arsenal Sjedinjenih Država. Neki iz porodice Washington preselili su se u područje Charles Washington, najmlađi brat predsjednika, osnovao je grad Charles Town, nekih šest milja jugozapadno. Pra-pra-nećak predsjednika Washingtona, pukovnik Lewis Washington, bio je talac tokom racije Johna Browna 1859.

1796. savezna vlada kupila je parcelu zemlje od nasljednika Roberta Harpera, a tri godine kasnije počela je izgradnja američke oružarnice i Arsenala u Harpers Ferryju. Između 1801. i 1861., kada je uništeno kako bi se spriječilo zarobljavanje tokom građanskog rata, oružarnica je proizvela više od 600.000 mušketa, pušaka i pištolja. Industrijalizacija se nastavila 1833. godine kada je kanal Chesapeake & amp; Ohio stigao do Harpers Ferryja, povezujući ga s Washingtonom. Godinu dana kasnije, željeznička pruga Baltimore & Ohio započela je željezničku liniju kroz grad.

Dana 16. oktobra 1859. radikalni abolicionista John Brown poveo je grupu od 21 čovjeka u napad na arsenal. Brown i njegovi ljudi napali su i zauzeli nekoliko zgrada za koje se nadao da će upotrijebljenim oružjem pokrenuti ustanak robova na cijelom jugu. Lokalni građani i milicija brzo su uhapsili muškarce Johna Browna i prisilili ih da se sklone u strojarnicu u blizini oružarnice. Kontigent američkih marinaca, predvođen tadašnjim potpukovnikom Robertom E. Leejem, upao je u strojarnicu i zarobio većinu napadača, ubivši nekoliko i sami pretrpjevši jednu žrtvu. Brownu je suđeno za izdaju protiv Commonwealtha Virginije, osuđen je i obješen u Charles Townu. Napad je bio katalizator građanskog rata.

Građanski rat bio je katastrofalan za Harpers Ferry, koji je osam puta mijenjao vlasnika između 1861. i 1865. Kada se Virdžinija otcijepila u aprilu 1861., američki garnizon je pokušao spaliti arsenal i uništiti mašineriju, kako bi spriječio Konfederate da ga koriste. Mještani su spasili opremu koju je Vojska Konfederacije prebacila na sigurnije mjesto u svom glavnom gradu Richmondu. Američka vojska nikada nije obnovila proizvodnju oružja u Harpers Ferryju.

Nakon završetka građanskog rata, 1867. godine, velečasni Nathan Cook Brackett, na Camp Hill -u je osnovao istorijski crni Storer College. Značajni alumni su jazz legenda Don Redman i prvi predsjednik Savezne Republike Nigerije Nnamdi Azikiwe. Koledž Storer zatvoren je u lipnju 1955. godine, a kampus je sada dio Nacionalnog povijesnog parka Harpers Ferry.

15. kolovoza 1906. pokret Niagara, predvođen autorom i naučnikom W. E. B. Du Boisom i političkim aktivistom Williamom Monroe Trotterom, održao je svoj prvi sastanak na američkom tlu u kampusu Storer Collegea. Trodnevni skup, koji je održan radi osiguranja građanskih prava Afroamerikanaca, kasnije je DuBois opisao kao & citat najvećih sastanaka koje su američki crnci ikada održali. & Quot nacionalna asocijacija za napredak obojenih osoba, poznatija kao NAACP.

Godine 1944. veći dio grada postao je dio Nacionalnog parka i sada se održava kao Nacionalni historijski park Harpers Ferry. Sva područja grada koja nisu u sastavu Parka nalaze se unutar federalno priznate povijesne četvrti Harpers Ferry.


Robert E. Lee o motivima Johna Browna

O Brownu, Lee je napisao, "On priznaje da mu je cilj bilo oslobađanje robova Virdžinije i cijelog juga i priznaje da je bio razočaran u očekivanjima pomoći od crnog i bijelog stanovništva, kako na jugu i sjevernim državama. Crnci, koje je tjerao iz svojih domova u ovom kraju, koliko sam mogao saznati, nisu mu davali dobrovoljnu pomoć. Sluge gospode Washington i Allstadt, zadržani u oružarnici, nisu učestvovali u sukobu, a oni koji su odvedeni u Maryland vratili su se svojim kućama čim su pušteni. Rezultat dokazuje da je plan bio pokušaj fanatika ili ludog i sramežljivca, koji je mogao završiti samo neuspjehom i njegovim privremenim uspjehom, zahvaljujući panici i zbunjenosti koje je uspio stvoriti uveličavanjem i sramežljivošću svojih brojeva. & Quot

Te večeri, lažna glasina da je grupa muškaraca napala kuću u Pleasant Valleyju u Marylandu poslala je brojne porodice koje su jurile u Harpers Ferry po zaštitu.


Sadržaj

Harpers Ferry Edit

Robert Harper je sredinom 18. stoljeća osnovao zajednicu Harpers Ferry. Robert Harper rođen je 1718. godine u gradu Oxfordu u blizini Philadelphije u Pensilvaniji. Budući da je bio građevinar, grupa kvakera je 1747. godine tražila od Harpera da izgradi kuću za sastanke u dolini Shenandoah u blizini današnjeg mjesta Winchester, Virginia. [2] Putujući kroz Maryland na putu za dolinu Shenandoah, Harper je nastavio do područja gdje su se spojile rijeke Potomac i Shenandoah. Privučen i zadivljen velikom latentnom vodnom snagom koja je živjela u rijekama i strateškom lokacijom za putovanja i transport, Harper je 1751. godine dobio patent za 125 jutara zemlje (0,51 km 2). [3] Sagradio je trajekt za prijelaz rijeka Shenandoah kako bi pomogla pionirima da stignu na odredište u novim zapadnim zemljama. Nakon stvaranja trajekta, područje je privuklo više ljudi i postalo je odredište s uspješnim poslovima.

Nacionalna oružarnica Edit

1794. Kongres Sjedinjenih Država usvojio je zakon kojim se naziva "za podizanje i popravak Arsenala i časopisa". Predsjednik George Washington, s obzirom na veliku slobodu u izvršavanju ove naredbe, odabrao je Harpers Ferry, tada dio Virdžinije, za lokaciju Nacionalne oružarnice Harpers Ferry. [4] 1796. Vlada Sjedinjenih Država kupila je 125 hektara (0,51 km 2) zemljišne parcele nasljednika Roberta Harpera, nakon čega je 1799. započela izgradnja nacionalnog oružarstva. Tri godine kasnije započela je masovna proizvodnja vojnog naoružanja. [4]

Vatreno oružje i topovi su teški i potreban im je pristup riječnom, a zatim i željezničkom prijevozu. Potrebe za gorivom osnivanja značile su dodatne teške pošiljke. Oružarnica se nalazila u Harpers Ferryju jer je bila geografski centralna i tokom perioda Antebellum, u središtu željezničke mreže zemlje. Jedini most preko rijeke Potomac koji je mogao nositi veliki teret - dijelom ovog razdoblja, jedina željeznička veza između istočnih gradova i Ohia i "zapada" - bio je željeznički most Baltimore i Ohio na Harpers Ferryju.

Nacionalna oružarnica u Harpers Ferryju zapravo je bila druga nacionalna oružarnica. Prva je bila Springfieldova oružarnica, izgrađena u Springfieldu u Massachusettsu 1794. godine nakon što je Kongres odobrio zakon o stvaranju prve nacionalne oružarnice u zemlji.

Nakon svečanog otvaranja, oružarnica se činila nedovoljnom za radnu snagu. Sastojala se od samo jedne sobe, a radnika je bilo samo dvadeset pet. Ipak, oružarnica je proizvela mnoge muškete, puške i kasnije pištolje za Sjedinjene Države. Između 1821. -1830. Oružarnica je proizvela 11.855 komada oružja. Svake decenije nakon toga proizvodnja je opadala. [5] Zgrada se oslanjala na riječnu energiju za pogon mehanizacije oružarnice.

Proširenje i nadogradnje Uređivanje

1844. uzeto je u obzir nedostatno stanje oružarnice i povećala se potražnja za vojnom opremom, pa se pristupilo obnovi i proširenju oružarnice. Nadogradnja arsenala započela je 1845–1854. Izgradnjom sedam potpuno novih radionica i ugradnjom 121 nove mašine. [4] Nove radionice imale su nadgradnju od opeke sa željeznim okvirima i kosim krovom od lima. Ove rekonstruisane arsenalne zgrade postale su zajednički poznate kao "američka tvornica musketa". [4] Oružani kanal je proširen kako bi više vode moglo doći do oružarnice, što je značilo da će dobiti više energije. Uz proširenje kanala, instalirano je sedam novih vodenih turbina. Nadogradnje su formirale dobro integriranu funkcionalnu jedinicu koja je poboljšala tijek rada iz jedne faze proizvodnje u drugu. [6] Sva proširenja oružarnice izvedena su na teškim kamenim temeljima i uključivala su okvire od lijevanog željeza u općem stilu "tvorničke gotičke" arhitekture. [6]

Osim toga, za rad u oružarnici zaposleno je više ljudi nego prije: radna snaga povećala se sa minimalnih dvadeset pet u 1802. na oko četiri stotine radnika u 1859. [4] Nadalje, radni uvjeti su se poboljšali, ali neznatno.

Napad Johna Browna Edit

1859. godine oružarnica je postala mjesto čuvenog oduzimanja od strane abolicionista Johna Browna, koji je, iako nije uspio u poticanju pobune robova, pomogao u ubrzanju američkog građanskog rata i konačnoj emancipaciji robova u Sjedinjenim Državama.

Za vrijeme građanskog rata Edit

Dok je Virdžinija još bila u Uniji, oružarnica je redovno isporučivala proizvedeno oružje i materijal širom Sjedinjenih Država. Međutim, nakon početka građanskog rata, nacionalna oružarnica postala je vitalna kontrolna točka i za Konfederacije i za Uniju.

Blizu početka rata 18. aprila 1861. godine, samo dan nakon konvencionalne ratifikacije Virdžinije o otcjepljenju, vojnici Unije, brojčano nadjačani i lišeni pojačanja, zapalili su vlastito oružarstvo u pokušaju da spriječe njegovu upotrebu napredovanjem Milicija Konfederacije Virdžinina broji ukupno 360 ljudi. Stanovnici Harpers Ferryja (od kojih su mnogi živjeli od oružarnice) uspjeli su dovoljno brzo ugasiti požare da spasu većinu oružarskih mašina za proizvodnju oružja. Nakon što su spasili opremu, Konfederati su je željeznicom otpremili na jug u Winchester u Virdžiniji, a odatle u Richmond, jer je Virginia odlučila ponovno otvoriti oružarnicu u Richmondu. [7] Jug nije imao gotovo nikakvu proizvodnju lakog naoružanja i neadekvatnu opskrbu sirovinama. Mašine preuzete iz Harpers Ferryja postale su temelj proizvodnje oružja Konfederacije. [8] Dvije sedmice kasnije, Konfederacije su napustile Harpers Ferry. Južne snage zaplijenile su ono što je ostalo u oružarnici i spalile preostale zgrade oružarnice. [4] Oni su također digli u zrak željeznički most na pruzi Baltimore i Ohio, ali su se vratili za dvije sedmice da unište Puškarnicu i most koji je prešao rijeku Shenandoah. [6]

Strateška lokacija oružarnice Uredi

Tokom građanskog rata oružarnica je postala mjesto od velikog strateškog značaja jer se nalazilo vrlo blizu linije Mason-Dixon, odnosno granice između slobodnih i robovlasničkih država. Zbog toga ga je Unija koristila kao efikasno sredstvo za brzo snabdijevanje trupa oružjem dok su ušli u bitku. [ kada? ] Nedostatak toga što je bio na granici bio je taj što je oružarnica mogla lako promijeniti vlasnika i pasti pod kontrolu Konfederacije - grad Harpers Ferry mijenjao je vlasnike najmanje jedanaest puta tokom građanskog rata. [6]

Posljedice građanskog rata Edit

Zbog stepena oštećenja oružarnice tokom građanskog rata, američka vlada je odlučila da neće ponovo uspostaviti oružarnicu u Harpers Ferryju, umjesto da se fokusira na područja koja se brzo razvijaju zapadno od rijeke Mississippi. [8]

Danas je to mjesto uglavnom pokriveno nasipima željezničkih pruga.

Fort Edit Johna Browna

Utvrda Johna Browna bila je jedina zgrada koja je preživjela uništenje koje su na nju nanijeli Konfederati i Unija. Bio je to oružarnički vatrogasni stroj i stražarska kuća, [4] u kojoj su se zabarikadirali Brown i njegovi napadači. Nakon rata dobila je ime tvrđave Johna Browna.

Ova zgrada je premještana četiri puta. Prvi put, oslobađajući željezničku prugu za nasipe, premještena je u Chicago, gdje je bila izložena na Kolumbijskoj izložbi 1893. godine. Napušten nakon toga, preseljen je natrag na farmu u blizini Harpers Ferryja. Odatle je premješten na mjesto koje je bilo najduže i gdje je bilo najviše poštovano: Storer College, škola osnovana za oslobođene u Harpers Ferryju, koju je Kongres također dao kućištu upravitelja Arsenala, smještenoj na Camp Hill -u .

Utvrda je ostala u Storeru sve do zatvaranja koledža 1955. godine, što je uvelike doprinijelo ulozi Harpers Ferryja kao odredišta afroameričkih turista početkom 20. stoljeća. Poslije ga je služba Nacionalnog parka premjestila na blizu izvorne lokacije.


Harper's Ferry - Povijest

Ovo je povijesni prikaz nekih događaja i ljudi uključenih u stvaranje, rad i aktivnosti Katoličke crkve i škole sv. Petra. To je samo djelomičan prikaz, zasnovan na istraživanju korištenjem dostupnih dokumentarnih dokaza, kao što su prepiska, testamenti, djela, fotografski zapisi i novinski članci iz relevantnih vremenskih perioda. Takvi dokumentarni dokazi pružaju samo ograničen pogled na mnoga prošla iskustva, različite ličnosti i dinamiku društvenog i vjerskog života koji su se u prošlim vremenima vrtili oko ovog mjesta. Nadajmo se da će, dok budemo dobivali dodatne podatke iz drugih dokumentarnih izvora i arheoloških zapisa, ovaj prikaz porasti u detaljima, širini i raznolikosti prošlih perspektiva koje se mogu predstaviti.

Stvaranje župe

Izgradnja katoličke crkve Svetog Petra u Donjem gradu, Harpers Ferry, započela je 1830. godine, a završena je 1833. godine (Smith 1959: 6, 13). To je bila treća crkva izgrađena u Harpers Ferryju, i jedina crkva koja se nije nalazila na državnom zemljištu (Theriault 1996). Prije 1830. najbliža katolička crkva nalazila se u Martinsburgu, nekoliko milja sjeverozapadno od Harpers Ferryja. Velečasni John Gildea bio je prvi pastor katoličke župe sv. Ivana, koja je osnovana u Martinsburgu 1825., a Harpers Ferry mu je dodijeljen za misiju (DWC History: 1). Godine 1830., crkveni službenici odlučili su da se broj osoba koje žele prisustvovati katoličkim službama u Harpers Ferryju povećao na dovoljan nivo da opravda gradnju nove tamošnje župe (Magri & amp Dittmeyer 1930: 6). Prema nekim izvještajima, otac Gildea je organizirao raniju katoličku crkvu koja će biti izgrađena krajem 1820 -ih uz Shenandoah ulicu u Donjem gradu, ali je ona odmah uništena u poplavi.

Nekoliko crkava različitih vjeroispovijesti osnovano je u Harpers Ferryu u razdoblju od 1825. do 1852. godine. Besplatna crkva bila je prva od Harpers Ferryja, sagrađena 1825. godine na posjedu u blizini lokacije sv. Petra. Uništena je u požaru 1845. godine, a biskupska crkva sv. Ivana izgrađena je na istom imanju 1852. godine (Shackel 1996: 166 Null 1983 Snell 1959d: 2-4). Druge crkve osnovane u Harpers Ferryju uključivale su Metodističku episkopsku crkvu 1828., Svetog Petra 1833., Prezbiterijansku crkvu 1841., Metodističku protestantsku 1843. i Luteransku 1850. Prije osnivanja ovih crkava, upravitelji oružarnice žalili su se na nedostatak žarište za održavanje moralne i vjerske discipline radnika oružarnice i njihovih porodica, a stanovnici su se često sastajali na mjestima okupljanja, poput radionica za nedjeljne službe (Snell 1959d: 1, 3-7 Shackel 1996: 166).

U obavijesti od 5. svibnja 1830. u Virginia Free Pressu traženi su financijski doprinosi za izgradnju nove župe sv. Petra: "'Otvorene su pretplate u Harpers Ferryju za podizanje Rimokatoličke crkve na tom mjestu i to je izjavio da su liberalni doprinosi dali osobe drugih vjeroispovijesti, kao i članovi tog društva. '"(Smith 1959: 6, citirajući Virginia Free Press, 5. maja 1830, str. 3, kolona 1). Kamen temeljac postavljen je 15. oktobra 1830. godine, a izgradnja je započela te godine, iako imovina još nije bila u potpunosti predana Crkvi (Magri & amp Dittmeyer 1930: 6). John Tearney, majstor klesar, nadzirao je izgradnju prve crkvene zgrade (Gilbert 1995: 59).

U članku od 9. maja 1833. u časopisu Virginia Free Press opisano je stvaranje ove nove župe na sljedeći način:

Od 1833. do 1896. godine, struktura crkve Svetog Petra bila je široka 39 stopa, duga 75 stopa i imala je unutrašnju visinu od 25 stopa do strehe. Bio je to jedan kat, izgrađen zidovima od opeke iznad kamenog temelja, prevelikom prednjom fasadom od opeke i središnjim zvonikom od drveta (Smith 1959: 7, vidi slike 1861, 1865, 1890 i 1895 gore i dolje). Na svakom bočnom zidu bila su četiri lučna prozora i jedan prozor u prostoriji za večernje stražnje dijelove crkve (zapadni kraj). Prednja fasada je imala tri lučna prozora i dva okrugla prozora, zajedno sa ulaznim vratima, i četiri kamene stepenice koje su vodile do tog ulaza.

Unutrašnjost je uključivala lučne stropove, mramornu propovjedaonicu i sliku Djevice Marije i novorođenog Isusa (Smith 1959: 7-8). Povijest Samuela Kerchevala u Povijesti doline Virdžinije iz 1833. godine kaže: "Rimokatoličko društvo podiglo je nekoliko kapela na nekoliko mjesta. Izgradili su vrhunsko zdanje na Harper's Ferryju s prekrasnom propovjedaonicom s likom Djevice Marije s malim djetetom Isusom" u njenom krilu "(Kercheval 1850: 318).

Održavanje i poboljšanja poduzeti su u narednim decenijama, često uz pomoć sredstava prikupljenih putem lokalnih sajmova i festivala koje su organizirali župljani. Crkva je dobila novi oltar, koji je izradio zanatlija po imenu "Mr. Vilwig" iz Winchester -a, Virginia, 1877. Nove orgulje za lulu postavljene su 1882 (Virginia Free Press, 6. oktobar 1877, str. 3, col. 3. 23. septembra 1882, str. 2, col. 2). Lokalne novine su zabilježile da je Crkva dobila svježi sloj boje 1877. godine, a nove freske su planirane za završetak do Božića 1881. godine (Virginia Free Press, 13. oktobar 1877, str. 3, col. 3 Duh Jeffersona, 6. decembra 1881, str. 3, col. 1).

Crkva i župni dvor Svetog Petra, 1890. i kopirajte Leib Collection, York, Pennsylvania. Kliknite na gornju sliku za veći prikaz.

Robert Harper i njegovi praunuci, James B. Wager i Gerard B. Wager, i njegova velika unuka, Sarah Ann Wager, darovali su imanje na kojem stoji Sveti Petar (Magri & amp Dittmeyer 1930: 20). Harperova posljednja oporuka 1782. izdvojila je približno četiri jutra za upotrebu pri osnivanju crkve. Trojica braće i sestara Wager ostvarili su njegovu želju 1831. godine prenoseći zemljište na kojem se sada nalazi Sveti Petar Katoličkoj crkvi (Magri & amp Dittmeyer 1930, app., Citirajući okrug Jefferson, Knjiga djela West Virginia 17, str. 6-7, 10. maja 1831). Ovi prijevozi su predviđali da se zemljište može koristiti samo za osnivanje vjerske institucije. Ti uvjeti su bili ispunjeni, a Katolička crkva je zadržala vlasništvo nad ovim zemljištem do danas.

Crkva sv. Petra godinama je bila žarište raznih vjerskih i društvenih aktivnosti. Redovno su se održavali brakovi, sahrane i masovne službe. Biskup za lokalnu biskupiju služio je krizmane službe u crkvi Sv. Petra gotovo svake godine. Održavani su sajmovi, piknici i festivali radi prikupljanja sredstava za različite svrhe, uključujući dobrotvorne napore i poboljšanja za Crkvu i njenu zajednicu.

Sveti Petar je takođe bio žarište rastućeg pokreta umjerenosti 1840 -ih. John H. Hall, izumitelj iz Massachusettsa koji je vodio lokalnu tvornicu pušaka, poduzeo je ranije pokušaje da organizira i upravlja "Društvom umjerenosti" u Harpers Ferryju 1830 -ih. Međutim, ovo je društvo očito postalo neaktivno početkom 1840 -ih, kako su se formirala druga društva za apstinenciju.

Hall nije bio jedini u pokušaju promicanja umjerenosti u takvim proizvodnim zajednicama. Menadžeri u fabrici naoružanja u Springfieldu u Massachusettsu zabranili su konzumiranje alkohola u krugu fabrike i ukinuli bi radni odnos svima za koje se utvrdi da krše ovo pravilo. Nasuprot tome, James Stubblefield, drugi nadzornik vladine oružarnice u Harpers Ferryju (od 1815-1829), nije promovirao umjerenost. Stubblefield je ikad bio poduzetnik, a posjedovao je dio udjela u lokalnoj destileriji, a imao je i rođake koji su posjedovali kafanu u gradu. Uz Armistead Beckhama, prvog glavnog oklopnika (od 1815-1830), Stubblefield je također posjedovao dionice firme Wager, Beckham, koja je upravljala maloprodajom u oružarnici. Umjesto da osudi konzumaciju alkohola od strane radnika oružarnice, Stubblefield je to nastojao poticati sve dok niko nije postao ometajući (Smith 1977: 150-51 Shackel 1996: 114).

U isto vrijeme kada su Hallovi napori opali početkom 1840 -ih, u Harpers Ferryju je u suradnji s lokalnim crkvama bilo organizirano nekoliko "Društava potpune apstinencije". Aktivnosti ovih društava dobijaju na zamahu tokom 1840 -ih i 1850 -ih. Katoličko društvo potpune apstinencije Harpers Ferry organizirano je u suradnji s aktivnostima crkve sv. Petra. To društvo je do 1843. godine uključilo 383 člana, a nakon toga nastavilo je rasti (Virginia Free Press, 19. januara 1843, str. 3, c. 1).

Mnoga društva umjerenosti i apstinencije bila su organizirana u drugim proizvodnim gradovima početkom 1800 -ih. Ovaj trend djelomično je motiviran reformskim osjećajima koje je ranije stvorio evanđeoski pokret nazvan drugo veliko buđenje. To je također bilo motivirano zabrinutošću vlasnika i industrijalaca koji su se oslanjali na produktivnu radnu snagu (Wallace 1978: 296-97, 322 Johnson 1978: 60-61, 79-84). Aktivnosti mnogih društava umjerenosti bile su pomračene tokom građanskog rata. Međutim, oni su ponovo dobili na zamahu krajem 1800-ih, posebno kroz promociju usmjerenu na pripadnike radničke srednje klase, i na kraju su rezultirali nacionalnom zabranom alkohola 1920-ih (Mrozowski i sur. 1996: 71-74).

Prva školska kuća i župni dom

Crkva je 1854. godine dobila u zakup dodatno susjedno zemljište na kojem je izgradila školsku kuću koja je danas dio postojeće zgrade župnog doma na zapadnoj strani crkve. Crkva je prvo zatražila da se ova parcela da u zakup, što je odraženo u pismu 16. decembra 1853. godine od nadzornika Benjamina Hugera iz oružarnice Harpers Ferry pukovniku Henryju Craigu iz američkog ureda za oružje:

Na toj je parceli izgrađena školska kuća između 1854. i 1857. godine, a kasnije je 1889. pretvorena u postojeću župnu kuću (Smith 1959: 14 Snell 1959c: 8-9 Theriault 1996). Ova školska kuća izgrađena je kao dvokatna kamena građevina, a izvana je bila prekrivena žbukom i urezana tako da podsjeća na obrise izrezanog kamenja. Zgrada je imala kupolu sa središtem na sljemenu krova i veliki dvoetažni trijem na južnoj strani, koji su kasnije uklonjeni (Snell 1959c: 9 Theriault 1996).

Ova prva škola bila je otvorena i za katoličke i za nekatoličke učenike i radila je otprilike do 1886. godine, kada je sagrađena druga školska kuća za Sv. Petra u ulici Shenandoah (Snell 1959c: 9 Magri & amp Dittmeyer 1930: 20). Zgrada crkve je izvorno bila 60 stopa istočno od ove prve školske kuće, ali je sada bliža nakon rekonstrukcije crkve 1896. godine. The Catholic Church has retained ownership and possession of these additional parcels and improvements to the present day (Smith 1959: 2, 9, 13).

View Artists' Renderings of Harpers Ferry in 1857 and 1859

Restoration work on the Rectory in 1971 and 1972 revealed details of the construction of this first school house. The original dimensions of the building were 40 feet in length and 22 feet in width. A later addition of 10 feet extended off the west end. This addition is evident by the existence of an original exterior bearing wall, which is 24 inches thick and made of stone, located 10 feet inside the current west facade (Gavin n.d.: 3-4). The building sits directly on an out-cropping of Harpers Ferry shale, which intrudes into the space of the basement. The original walls appear to be made of the same type of stone used in the dry-stacked retaining walls on the north and south sides of the Rectory grounds (Gavin n.d.: 4). Those retaining walls were likely built by Armory personnel as part of general landscaping work undertaken around the time the school house was constructed (Snell 1959c: 10).

The Church and School in 1865. Click on this image to see enlarged portions of an 1865 photograph.

The privy off the west end of the Rectory is also made with a stone base, which was unusual for such an outbuilding. Most privies in the area were built of wood frames (Gavin n.d.: 4). It was likely constructed at the same time as the first school house. This privy is visible in a photograph made in 1865, shown above (Snell 1959a: 112-13 Harpers Ferry Archive Photo No. HF-361), and in another taken between 1892 and 1896 (Snell 1959a: 116 Photo No. HF-99).

A timber frame bell tower was added to the grounds in approximately 1880, and stood just north of the northwest corner of the school house. This bell tower served the Church until a year or two after completion of the 1896 Church renovations, which added a new stone bell tower on the southeast corner of the Church. In 1890, an earlier bell weighing 400 pounds was replaced with a new bell weighing 1,400 pounds. The new bell, made by the McShane firm of Baltimore, was 3 feet 6 inches tall and cost $430.00 (Virginia Free Press, June 4, 1890, p. 3, col. 1 Spirit of Jefferson, July 29, 1890, p. 3, col. 4). This tower is visible in photographs taken in 1886, 1890 and 1895 (above).

St. Peter's Church and Rectory, 1865-1900. Click on the image to the left for a detailed map of the site's structures and features.

The Second School House

A second school house was built in 1886 on the north side of Shenandoah Street, on a lot at the base of the slope off the south side of the Church (see 1865-1900 map above). This second school house was one and half stories tall, and was made of brick. It was open to Catholic and non-Catholic students alike, and was operated from 1886 to 1899, when school operations ended due to a shortage of students (Snell 1959c: 9). The reduction in the number of school-aged children likely resulted from a general trend of families moving out of Harpers Ferry to other towns and cities in the region that offered greater employment opportunities (Magri & Dittmeyer 1930: 20).

Second School House, 1895. Click on this image to see the second School House in an 1895 photograph excerpt.

This school building was slightly damaged by fire in 1896, and promptly repaired (Spirit of Jefferson, Nov. 24, 1896, p. 3, col. 3). It fell into disuse after the school was closed in 1899. Eventually, the ruins of this building were removed from the lot in the mid-1950's, after the State of West Virginia acquired the property from the Church (Snell 1959c: 12 Jefferson County, Deed Book 191, pp. 259-60, Jan. 7, 1953, Harpers Ferry Archive, Doc. No. HFD-174).

The Parsonage Unbuilt

The Church had earlier considered building a parsonage on another lot on the south side of Shenandoah Street in Harpers Ferry. On August 13, 1852, Reverend Joseph Plunkett, the pastor of St. Peter's, wrote a letter to Colonel Benjamin Huger, the Superintendent of the Armory. He stated that the "'Bishop of Richmond asks for a parsonage for his church at this place,'" and he observed that "'Vacant Lot No. 2, on Block D, Shenandoah St.'" would be suitable (Snell 1959b: 13, quoting letter from Plunkett to Huger, Aug. 13, 1852, Microfilm Reel 26, vol. 2, p. 141). In June 1852, Secretary of War C. M. Conrad had issued a directive stating the government's desire to encourage the establishment of churches, schools, and other public institutions in Harpers Ferry by reserving lots for such use (Snell 1959b: 13-14).

Lot 2, Block D, Shenandoah Street. Click on the image to the left for a map showing the unused site for a parsonage.

This Lot 2 was part of a tract purchased by the U.S. government from John Wager, Sr. for use in establishing the Armory. The Armory sold these parcels in Block D at private and public auctions in August and September of 1852, but reserved Lot 2 for the Church to use as a parsonage (Snell 1959b: 1, 13-14). St. Peter's obtained a lease for Lot 2 in 1852, and the Government conveyed full title in that parcel to the Church in 1868.

However, Church officals never built a parsonage on that lot, likely due to the frequency with which Shenandoah Street was flooded by storms and the overflow of the river (Smith 1959: 6 Snell 1959b: 2, 13-14). Instead, the Church pastor and support staff lived elsewhere in the area until 1889, when the first school house next to the Church was converted into a Rectory. For example, the 1860 census indicates that Reverend Michael Costello, the pastor at that time, lived with William Stephen's family in their house in Lower Town (Snell 1959b: 15).

Houses were built on the parcels adjoining Lot 2 in the early 1800's, and those houses were likely used as residences for Armory workers and their families. These neighboring properties were damaged frequently by the floods that flowed through Shenandoah Street during this period (Snell 1959b: 2). Lot 2 contained four houses, all made of wood and ranging in size from one to two stories tall, in the period of 1811 through 1852 (Snell 1959b: 11). Those structures were dismantled by the time the lot was conveyed to the Church. Lot 2 later remained largely vacant, except for a livery stable maintained there after 1859 (Snell 1959b: 15-16). The State of West Virginia eventually acquired this parcel in the 1950's.

Surviving the Civil War

Harpers Ferry changed hands between Union and Confederate control fourteen times during the years of the Civil War (Hearn 1996: 290). St. Peter's was the only church in the town that was not severely damaged or destroyed by the heavy bombardments and destruction leveled on Harpers Ferry by both northern and southern forces. The Reverend Michael A. Costello is credited with this feat of preservation. Born in Ireland in 1833, he became Pastor of St. Peter's in 1857, and was in his late 20's during the War (Barry 1903: 148 Smith 1959: 9 Virginia Free Press, Dec. 17, 1857, p. 2, col. 4). Rather than accept an invitation from Bishop McGill to travel to Ireland during the War, he stayed at the Church throughout the hostilities and even during severe artillery bombardments from the surrounding heights (Magri & Dittmeyer 1930: 12 Hearn 1996: 288).

Father Costello witnessed the dramatic events of John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry first hand. After one of the Harpers Ferry residents was shot by a member of Brown's company, Father Costello was summoned to give last rights to the dying man. Later, after the United States Marines stormed the Armory firehouse in which Brown and his company had barricaded themselves, Father Costello was summoned to give last rights to two wounded soldiers, one of whom died. Costello later visited Brown in his jail cell in Charles Town. He related these events, experiences, and his views on slavery, the hazards faced by free African Americans, and the dangerous prospects of a coming war in the following letter to a fellow priest at All Hallows College.

You must look upon me as one of the most ungrateful children of All Hallows, as one who has forgotten all he owes to his "Alma Mater" in having allowed so long a time to elapse without writing but such is not the case. On the contrary, it is only when separated by time and distance that a person can fully realize how strong and endearing is the chain that binds him to the hallowed place where his mind was nurtured in piety and in learning and as trials, dangers and difficulties encompass the young and inexperienced minister of the sanctuary, the more affectionately will he turn to his college home.

You know that I was appointed shortly after my arrival in Richmond to take charge of my present mission. I have two churches which are thirty miles apart, to attend, besides several small stations that I visit occasionally. At Harper's Ferry, where I principally reside, I have a very pretty little church, capable of holding between 400 and 500 persons and, as it is too small to hold all the congregations at the same time, I have leave to say two Masses on Sundays. The church is literally built upon a rock, and it is one of the first things that strike the visitor's view as he approaches the town. Harper's Ferry is situated in the north-east part of Virginia, two hundred miles from Richmond, and eighty miles from Baltimore. The waters of the Potomac river wash its banks on one side, while the Blue Ridge confines it on the other. The scenery at this locality is most picturesque and romantic. Nature has been lavish indeed in her gifts, so as to render it one of the most beautifully wild scenes in the United States. Truly worthy is it of the artist's pencil and of the poet's dream and the author of "the declaration of American Independence", the great and illustrious Jefferson, has but done it justice when he declares that "it is worthy of a trip across the Atlantic to see the scenery at Harper's Ferry". The population is about 4000. Of this number there are between six and seven hundred Catholics. Harper's Ferry is chiefly remarkable for its scenery, and for an armoury where arms are manufactured for the United States. Latterly it has become famous throughout the Union as the theatre of war. I suppose you have heard about the invasion made by Northern abolitionists to liberate the slaves of Virginia, and as an account from me may not prove uninteresting to you, I shall give you a short sketch of it.

On the night of the 16th of October last, a party of abolitionists came to Harper's Ferry, and while the citizens peacefully slept, they took possession of the United States' Armoury, Rifle Works, and Arsenal. Next morning, when the inhabitants awoke, they were surprised to see parties of armed men patrolling the streets, and as some of them attempted to pass to their employment they were taken prisoners by the insurgents and marched into the Armoury, where they were placed under guard. As soon as the object of the insurrection became known, the citizens prepared to defend themselves and drive away the invaders. Accordingly, armed with any old guns they could find, they shot at the enemy who appeared in the streets, and the invaders returning their fire mortally wounded one of the citizens. The wounded man being a Catholic, I was called to attend him, and as I had to pass through the insurgents on my way, when I started I had very little hope that they would allow me to pass, as they were making prisoners of all they could catch. However, they allowed me to attend the dying man. I administered to him the last Sacraments, and he died soon after. During the day volunteer companies came from every direction to the aid of the inhabitants, and the firing continued without intermission, several of the invaders and four of the citizens losing their lives. At night, I attended another member of my congregation who was dangerously wounded. Meantime a company of the United States' soldiers arrived from Washington, and were immediately drawn up in front of the engine-house, into which "Osswattomie" Browne and his followers with their prisoners were finally driven.

On the morning of the 18th a white flag was dispatched to Brown with a command to surrender, which he refused to do, unless he was allowed to pass in safety to Maryland, taking with him his prisoners until, he reached there, when he would give them their liberty and then the soldiers might attack him and his party if they liked. Of course those terms were not listened to, and the order was given to storm the engine house, and take all the invaders at the point of the bayonet, in order that the prisoners might be rescued in safety. Soon after, the door of the fortress was battered down, and in a few moments "Ossawattamie" Brown and his deluded followers were secured. In the final attack on the insurgents two of the soldiers were wounded, one of them mortally. As both were Catholics, I was summoned to attend them. As private Luke Quin fell, pierced through with a ball, his first exclamation was to Major Russel, of the United States Marines, who seeing him fall, went up to him. In pitiful accents he cried out: "Oh! Major, I am gone, for the love of God will you send for the priest". I administered to him the holy rites of the Church he died that day, and was buried with military honours in the Catholic graveyard at this place. The invaders who survived were tried at Charleston [i.e., Charles Town] in this county, and were convicted of treason against the commonwealth of Virginia, murder, and attempt to excite slaves to rebel. Five of them, have been already executed, and two more are under sentence of death. The abolitionists calculated, when they invaded Harper's Ferry, that the slaves would immediately flock to their standard, and for this purpose they came provided with over 1000 pikes and 200 Sharps rifles, to arm the Negro population to free their coloured brethren throughout Virginia. They were, however, sadly mistaken, for they could not get a single slave in Virginia to join them, and the first man shot by them was a free Negro who refused to take arms and join their standard. I have seen the slaves, trembling with terror, hide themselves, for fear the insurgents would come and take them, though the boon offered was liberty. The fact is that the slaves are much better off than the free Negros, and they know this to be the fact, hence it is that they prefer to remain as they are, and it is better for them, I am sure. The invasion against the rights of the south by northern abolitionists has created the greatest excitement throughout the country, and it does not require a prophet to predict that if a dissolution of the union of the States ever takes place, it will be on account of the question of slavery. I hope, however, that such a misfortune will never happen to this country, for no matter how high political excitement may be carried, I believe that there will always found good and sound men in the north and in the south who will rally round the constitution and preserve it inviolate. I visited "Old Brown", who was the commanding general of the invaders some time previous to his execution, and he informed me that he was a congregationalist. He said that he would not receive the services of any minister of religion, for he believed that they as apologists of slavery, had violated the laws of nature and off God, and that they ought first to sanctify themselves by becoming abolitionists, and then they might be worthy to minister unto him. Let them follow St. Paul's advice he said, and go and break the chains of the slaves, and then they may preach to others. I told him that I was not aware of St. Paul's ever giving any such advice, but that I remembered an epistle of St. Paul to Philemon, where we are informed that he sent back the fugitive slave Onesimus from Rome to his master. I then asked him what he thought of that, and he said that he did not care what St. Paul did, but what he said, and not even what he said if it was in favour of slavery!

I hope you enjoy good health, and that all the directors are well and happy. Remember me to them very kindly. Will you kindly send me two latest Annual Reports of the College I am always pleased to hear news about it. I hope that you do not forget to pray for me. Wishing every happiness to you, and continually increasing to my dear Alma Mater, I remain, dear Father Harrington,

Your devoted and affectionate child in Jesus and Mary.

During the War, Father Costello reportedly raised a Union Jack flag over the Church to dissuade the Confederate artillery from aiming their guns at it. If true, this would make sense given the Confederate forces' view of Britain as a potential ally. The Confederate forces' artillery fire from the surrounding School House Ridge, Maryland Heights and Loudoun Heights in September 1862 was particularly heavy and destructive. They targeted their fire at Union forces located on nearby Camp Hill and Bolivar Heights (Hearn 1996: 172-75). Colonel William H. Trimble of the 60th Regiment from Ohio described the barrage of fire leveled at the Union troops as so fierce that there was "'not a place where you could lay the palm of your hand and say it was safe'" (Frye 1998, quoting Trimble).

St. Peter's Church, 1861 and 1862. Click on the image to the left to see a larger view of Harpers Ferry in 1861, and the image to the right to see a panoramic view of the Church and Town in 1862.

The Lower Town of Harpers Ferry came under artillery fire at other times, including June and July of 1863, and July of 1864, when the Union artillery on Maryland Heights was targeted at Confederate forces that had made incursions into the town (Hearn 1996: 247-48). Many buildings were damaged in the course of these various hostilities. Remarkably, all bombardments missed St. Peter's, even though it was located close by other buildings that were destroyed. For example, St. John's Episcopal Church, located on an uphill lot adjacent to St. Peter's (see 1895 image above), was heavily damaged (Null 1983). The undamaged St. Peter's Church and the school house were used as make-shift hospitals at various times during the War, and Father Costello held services and administered the sacraments as much as possible throughout its duration (Hearn 1996: 288). He died of an illness just a few years later, at the age of 34, and was buried in St. Peter's cemetery (Virginia Free Press, Feb. 21, 1867, p. 2, col. 4).

The drama of the War left St. Peter's with a number of local legends. Two ghost stories are applied to the Church. In one, the ghost of a priest walks the path along the north exterior wall of the Church, reading a book, and then turns abruptly, disappearing into the wall, at a spot where the original 1833 Church's front facade likely stood. In another story, the stone steps leading into the east entrance of the Church are haunted by the cries of a baby who was killed there by a falling mortar shell. Archaeological excavations in the summer of 2000 dispelled a third belief. A large capstone from the Armory wall rests in the ground just outside the west, exterior door of the old School House. Some speculated that the School and Church were used as temporary hospitals during the War, and that this capstone was hauled to the School yard as a marker to cover a burial of limbs amputated from unfortunate soldiers. No such remains were found beneath the capstone by the archaeologists.

St. Peter's Church, before 1896.

Renovations in 1896

A visiting priest conducted the last mass service in the original Church building on July 2, 1896. That structure was replaced in the following year by the current neo-Gothic structure, built with granite walls and red sandstone trim (see 1983 image below). Those materials are not native to the Harpers Ferry area, and were brought in for this project. The granite was obtained from Loudoun County, Virginia, and the sandstone from Seneca, Maryland (Spirit of Jefferson, Aug. 31, 1897, p. 2, col. 1).

John Tearney's son Edward was a supervisor in this construction project (Gilbert 1995: 59, 62 Theriault 1996). The main construction contract was awarded to "Mr. Withrow" of Charleston, and the brickwork to George Armentrout of Charles Town (Spirit of Jefferson, Aug. 26, 1896, p. 2, col. 4 Sept. 8, 1896, p. 3, col. 1). William Phillips' Sons handled the finish work, including wood trim, door frames, window frames and sashes (Farmers Advocate, Jan. 23, 1897, p. 3, col. 1). This construction project overall cost approximately $12,000 (Spirit of Jefferson, Aug. 31, 1897, p. 2, col. 1).

The renovation enlarged the Church's footprint to 39 feet in width and 90 feet in length. The piazza on the front (east) side of the Church was enlarged, and the front facade of the Church, with a new recessed portico, was built several feet further to the west. The central steeple was replaced with a larger bell tower located at the southeast corner of the new front facade. An original lean-to of brick on the west end of the Church was similarly replaced with a cut-stone apse. Heating stoves were replaced with a central heating system. A slate roof was also added in this renovation, but has since been replaced with a roof of composite shingles (Smith 1959: 9 Theriault 1996 see image below).

St. Peter's Church and Rectory, 1983.

More Recent Developments

An expanded St. James Catholic parish was established in Charles Town, just six miles to the west of Harpers Ferry, in 1967. Charles Town was assigned as a mission to St. Peter's Church from 1899 until that time (DWC History: 7). Due to the reduced size of its congregation, regular services at St. Peter's were curtailed in 1995, as part of a reorganization and revitalization plan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. This plan called for the preservation of St. Peter's Church in view of its historical significance, and anticipated that occasional liturgical celebrations would be held there each year (DWC History: 13). St. Peter's remains open to the public, and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, many of whom come to tour the surrounding Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Reverend Brian Owens, pastor of St. James Church, maintains responsibility and oversight for the activities at St. Peter's.

Reverend Owens is working to coordinate substantial restoration work on the Church, Rectory and surrounding grounds. This work will include improvements of the landscape and repairs to the stone retaining walls that surround the grounds. Archaeological investigations have been conducted to coincide with these efforts in order to preserve the record of artifacts located on those grounds.

Archaeological Investigations

From the 1950's through the mid-1990's, the National Park Service conducted extensive archaeological and historical research on many properties located throughout Lower Town, Harpers Ferry and nearby Virginius Island. However, due to their location on private property, no such archaeological investigations of the grounds of St. Peter's Church and Rectory were conducted in the course of those efforts. The Church and Rectory grounds offered a potential wealth of archaeological data on the daily lives and material culture of the Church pastors, support staff, teachers, students, parishioners, and neighbors, for the time period of 1830 onward.

St. Peter's Church and Rectory, 1865-1900. Click on the image to the left for a detailed map of the site's structures and features.

In the summer of 2000, the author of this article organized excavations on the grounds of the Church and School. A team of sixteen volunteers, including participants who travelled from as far away as California, Louisiana and England, undertook these efforts. They surveyed the site and excavated three-foot-square units and one-foot-wide shovel test pits along a grid of survey lines (called transects) laid out along the cardinal directions. This team excavated 26 units and over 50 shovel test pits in the areas surrounding the Church and School House. We uncovered thousands of artifacts, including an array of nineteenth-century ceramic types, iron hardware, two religious artifacts, and various materials from later time periods as well.

The soil layers on this site proved to be notably shallow. The Church and School were built on a ridge of rock on a steep hillside overlooking Lower Town Harpers Ferry. This bedrock, called Harpers Ferry Shale, often lies just twelve to sixteen inches below the grass surface at the site. The soil layers extend deeper along portions of the southern, downslope edge of the property. U njegovom Strange Story of Harpers Ferry, Joseph Barry applied his usual poetic license in describing the landscape of St. Peter's: "There can be no doubt that this church, at least, is 'built on a rock,' for there is not soil enough anywhere near it to plant a few flowers around the House of Worship or the parsonage, and the worthy Fathers have been obliged to haul a scanty supply from a considerable distance to nourish two or three rosebushes" (1903: 6-7).

As a result of such a shallow space for soils on this shoulder of bedrock, the grounds surrounding the Church and School House have been extensively disturbed and churned up over time by erosion and the impact of past construction and landscaping work. Almost all excavation units contained artifacts which had been jumbled, with some older artifacts higher in the soil than more recent ones. When archaeological sites exist in an undisturbed state, they possess more orderly layers of sediment and soil that contain artifacts, with the earliest found at the deepest layers and the most recent found closest to the surface.

There are three general causes of such deposition of soil and artifacts onto the site, and their disturbance over time:

    the artifacts were discarded and deposited into the soil on-site, and the soil and artifacts were later mixed and disturbed by landscaping and construction work

Works in Progress

An array of parishioners, students and scholars are continuing efforts to learn more about the history of St. Peter's Church and School, and about the lifeways of the many people who shaped and enlivened these social, educational and religious centers over time. The past documents that should reflect the daily events and operations of the Church and School likely exist in private archives, which are the focus of ongoing research efforts. Additional documents may be available in the public archives of historical societies in the region as well. For example, substantial gaps exist in some collections of the local nineteenth-century newpapers, which researchers hope to fill in future work. Oral histories provide valuable and varying perspectives on St. Peter's past events and present importance. Archaeological excavations have been completed. Some additional excavations may be undertaken in the future, but the disturbed character of the layers of soil and artifacts at the site makes documentary and oral history research a greater priority in future efforts. By comparing and contrasting the varying stories and facts yielded from the documents, oral histories and archaeological record, we hope to obtain the richest view possible of the many pasts and individual stories that played out at St. Peter's Church and School.


This archaeology project was supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This web site has also been featured as a lesson plan by Education World, The Study Web, and Bigchalk Education Network, among others.

Citirane reference

  • Barry, Joseph, The Strange Story of Harpers Ferry. Shepherdstown, West Virginia: Shepherdstown Register, 1903.


Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

If you have an interest in History, Harpers Ferry is a good place to visit. The fact that John Brown led a raid on the the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry was the historical info that I recalled from history class. I knew John Brown made an attempt to lead an uprising of slaves, and that he failed and was hanged.

Looking deeper into the history of 1859 and 1860 revealed more facts. After his hanging, John Brown’s name was frequently read in newspapers around the country. With the 1860 presidential election looming, politicians were greatly divided with the slavery issue at the forefront. Because politicians could not agree on a candidate for the Republican Party for the 1860 election, they compromised on Abraham Lincoln. So now I know that the actions and hanging of John Brown compelled politicians to deal with the issue of slavery and resulted in secession and the Civil War. John Brown was a great proponent of the Declaration of Independence. He believed in “Liberty for All”, including education for all Americans, black or white. His actions set off a sequence of events that led to the start of the Civil War and freedom for slaves.

Reconstruction of John Brown Fort

The second major historical event at Harpers Ferry began in March 1862 when Union Colonel Dixon Miles was assigned to the remnants of a once productive Armory. Before the Confederate Army burned the Harpers Ferry Armory in 1861, it produced 10,000 firearms a year. Because of it’s location, Harpers Ferry remained important to the military as a supply base for the Shenandoah Valley and to protect the railroads. Due to the destruction from the Confederate assault, there were very few local residents, but Colonel Miles commanded thousands of military troops at Harpers Ferry.

As the Confederate troops moved north, Stonewall Jackson led a massive assault on the Union troops at Harpers Ferry. The Union troops were pinned in the valley with the confederates stationed in the hills firing at will against them. The Union Commanders held a military council and determined that they must surrender or die. On September 15, 1862, the Union soldiers raised white flags. However, a stray Confederate shell mortally wounded Colonel Dixon before the Union surrender could be finalized. During the surrender, the Confederate Army captured the largest number of Federal military soldiers in the Civil War…over 12,000 troops.

During our visit to Harpers Ferry, we visited the Murphy-Chambers Farm. Today, the farm is a wonder of nature and a peaceful place to hike. But during the Civil War, it was the site of a major defeat of the Union military.

Harper Ferry’s very early history dates back to 1783 when nature-loving Thomas Jefferson first travelled through the Shenandoah Valley. Along the high trails above Harpers Valley, Jefferson enjoyed the mountains and rivers and found nature at it’s best. According to history, Thomas Jefferson first stood at the location of Jefferson Rock on October, 25, 1783. A news article about his travels through the Shenandoah area was published in Virginia in 1785 and these quotes from Jefferson were included.

“The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature.

You cross the Patowmac above the junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, the terrible precipice hanging in fragments over you, and within about 20 miles reach Frederictown and the fine country around that. This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”

Jefferson Rock, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

The very top original slab of Jefferson Rock became unsafe due to weather and curious tourists. Sometime between 1855 and 1860, stone reinforcement pillars were place at the corners to offer better support.

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
Michael Crichton


A Historic Visit at Harpers Ferry

When I was traveling to West Virginia during my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states, I knew the top thing that I had to visit in the Mountain State of West Virginia was definitely Harpers Ferry. If you are looking for an old town full of history, Harpers Ferry is the place to visit.

Where is Harpers Ferry?

Harpers Ferry is located in the northeastern corner of West Virginia near the Maryland border. The Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet in Harpers Ferry. These two rivers are part of how Harpers Ferry got it’s name. In the mid 1700s, Robert Harper was passing thru the area and saw the two rivers as a way to generate industry. He purchased the land and started a ferry across the Potomac River. The town was eventually named Harpers Ferry.

The Point where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers Meet

History of Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry is full of history dating back to the 1700s. In 1796, the first President of the United States, George Washington purchased land in Harpers Ferry as a site of a US armory and arsenal. This was one of only two facilities of it’s type in the United States and in the 60 years the armory was in operation it produced more than 600,000 muskets, rifles and pistols.

Probably the most well known event in history that Harpers Ferry is known for is John Brown’s raid that essentially led to the Civil War. John Brown was an abolitionist known for his aggressive action towards slave owners. In October of 1859, with the help of fellow abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, John Brown planned a raid on the armory in Harpers Ferry. On October 16th, John Brown and 22 freed slaves raided the armory at Harpers Ferry.

After taking over the armory, locals from Harpers Ferry fought back, resulting in casualties on both sides. John Brown and his remaining men, barricaded themselves in the armory’s engine house, which became known as John Brown’s Fort. On October 18th, Robert E. Lee tried to get Brown to surrender and when Brown refused they stormed the fort and arrested John Brown. Less than two months later on December 2, 1859 was hanged after being found guilty of treason.

John Brown’s raid may not have ended slavery, but it definitely started a more aggressive approach to trying to end slavery. This more aggressive approach led to the Civil War which eventually ended slavery in 1865.

Harpers Ferry was a very strategic location during the Civil War and played a key role in many battles, most notably the Battle of Harpers Ferry in 1862. During the battle, Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded the town and with the help of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson forced the war’s largest surrender. Even though the Confederates took control of the town after this battle, the town went from confederate and union control a total of 8 times during the war.

Visiting Harpers Ferry

The town of Harpers Ferry is part of the National Park Service and is known as the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The museums and visitor centers are open daily (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) from 9am to 5pm.

Parking in Harpers Ferry is minimal, therefore its best to park at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Visitor Center just a few miles outside of town. The cost to park here is $20 per car, annual passes are available for $35 per year and the America the Beautiful Annual National Park Pass is also accepted. There is a shuttle bus that runs regularly from the visitor center to town throughout the day.

What to do in Harpers Ferry

With all this history, what is there to do in Harpers Ferry? The answer is quite a lot, it’s a great place to spend the day. Here is a list of the top things to do in the Historic Lower Town of Harpers Ferry:

  • John Brown’s Fortand Monument – This is definitely the top thing to see in Harpers Ferry. The fort has moved quite a bit since John Brown and his men barricaded themselves there in October of 1859. In 1891, it was dismantled and transported to Chicago for a few years, then it was returned to Harpers Ferry and was located at a couple of different locations before it was ultimately purchased by the National Park Service and moved to it’s current location in 1968 which is 150 feet east of the original location. There is a monument that marks the original location of the fort.
  • John Brown’s Fort
  • Inside the fort
  • Monument on original site of John Brown’s Fort
  • U.S. Armory Site – Located next to the original site of John Brown’s Fort is the US Armory site. At this location, they have signs set up throughout the site with historical information on the Armory.
  • Arsenal Square – Located behind John Brown’s Fort is Arsenal Square. This is where the Arsenal which held the weapons made at the Armory was located. It once held about 100,000 weapons at this site.
  • Museums and Period Exhibits – There are multiple museums and exhibits to check out both at the visitors center and in lower town. Unfortunately at this time a lot of the museums are closed but some of the period exhibits are availabe to see. And just walking thru town seeing the outsides of the buildings makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. They have done a very good job of keeping the old facades of the buildings.
  • The Point – Just past John Brown’s Fort is The Point. This is where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet. When standing at the Point, you can see the three states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church – Up a hill above Harpers Ferry is the only church that survived the Civil War without any destruction, St. Peter’s. The views from the church are stunning and definitely a must see.
  • Ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church – Continuing up the hill past St. Peter’s you will come upon the ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church. This church served as a hospital and was damaged during the Civil War. The ruins were very interesting to see.
  • Jefferson Rock – Continuing up the path past the ruins, you will eventually reach the top of the hill. This is where Jefferson Rock is located. This rock is named after the third President of the United States, Thomas Jeffereson. In the 1780s, Jeffereson wrote of the view from this point. It’s definitely quite the view to take in!
  • Unofficial Midpoint of the Appalachian Trail – The path up to Jefferson Rock is part of the famous Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200 mile trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Many people set out to hike the entire trail each year. Although it’s not exactly the midpoint of the trail, Harpers Ferry has been known as the mental midpoint and is also where the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters is located. The headquarters offers many hiker services as well as has exhibits and a gift shop. If you like to hike, why not take a shorter hike along the Appalachian Trail while in Harpers Ferry.
  • Self Guided Battlefield Driving Tour – Outside of Lower Town of Harpers Ferry, you can take a self guided driving tour of the Battlefields from the Civil War. Along the driving tour, there are signs giving information about the Civil War battles.

Harpers Ferry definitely has a lot to offer and is a great place to spend the day. It’s a wonderful trip for a family, so you can bring the history books alive for your kids.