John Brown and many of his followers holed up in the fire engine house awaiting reinforcements by a swarm of "bees"—slaves from the surrounding area. But only a handful showed up. (Library of Congress)

John Brown's Day of Reckoning

The abolitionist's bloody raid on a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry 150 years ago set the stage for the Civil War

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Fergus M. Bordewich, a frequent contributor of articles on history, is profiled in the "From the Editor" column.


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