Sunday, May 26, 2013

Harpers Ferry

Six years ago when we visited Ukraine for Erik's Fulbright, we regularly confronted the region's contested history and the complexity of identifying heroes during wartime. Ukrainian partisans who were active in the western part of the country where we lived were portrayed as patriots by some and villains by others. The interpretation of John Brown, the abolitionist who led the failed raid on Harpers Ferry on the eve of the Civil War, is an American example of this phenomenon. During our decade in Kansas, we became familiar with John Brown as the hero depicted in the John Steuart Curry mural in the Kansas State Capitol. Visiting Harpers Ferry yesterday, we witnessed a more ambiguous portrayal. Below are some images Carter took during our road trip.

Ruins of an Episcopal church.

Harpers Ferry from Jefferson's Rock.

 Jefferson's Rock.
Cemetery at the summit of the hill behind town.

Carter earned three NPS Junior Ranger badges on the visit and we all learned a tremendous amount about the Lewis and Clark expedition, John Brown's raid, the Civil War, and the history of US military armaments.

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