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Today In History- October 16

John Brown leads raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

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Abolitionist John Brown leads raid on Harper's Ferry Arsenal.

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

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One of the most important events in the fight to end slavery, on October 16, 1859, John Brown led a raid on Harper's Ferry arsenal, accompanied by 19 other men.  His hope was to arm the slaves with the weapons from the armory, and head south destroying the economic capabilities of the pro-slave states.  This was an important event in the beginning of the Civil War, and southern slave holders were grateful that the raid was soon put down.  The efforts of John Brown were celebrated by many abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass.

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