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

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)
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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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