Osborne P. Anderson: A Voice from Harper’s Ferry


In 1861 Osborne Anderson published A Voice from Harper’s Ferry: A Narrative of Events at Harper’s Ferry; With Incidents Prior and Subsequent to Its Capture by Captain Brown and His Men to present his eyewitness account of events during and revolving around John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), of October 16–18, 1859. After the capture and execution of the other raiders, Anderson was the only one left alive who had been present in Harpers Ferry during the raid; because he believed that southern accounts were biased, he felt compelled to give an account of the event from the raiders’ perspective. The book’s publication, accomplished by the author with the aid of antislavery Bostonians, was announced in William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper The Liberator on January 11, 1861, and in Frederick Douglass’s Monthly in the February 1861 issue. The book became an important source for historians and biographers of the renowned...

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John Brown (Library of Congress)

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