Fergus Bordewich is a regular Smithsonian magazine contributor who recently wrote about John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and penned an in-depth account of the Underground Railroad in Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. On Saturday, October 10, Bordewich will be speaking about Brown—the 19th-century abolitionist who incited the ill-fated slave rebellion—at Arlington House this weekend. He will be giving lectures at 8:00 and 9:00 PM. Furthermore, this one night only event at Confederate General Robert E. Lee's historic home will also offer visitors a rare opportunity to tour the estate at night and enjoy a perfect vantage point to observe the electrified DC skyline. Admission is free, but reservations are required. To make reservations, please call 703-235-1530.
If you're unable to make Bordewich's lecture at Arlington House, you can mark the 150th anniversary of the raid on Harper's Ferry at the Smithsonian. On view at the Portrait Gallery is a rare daguerrotype of John Brown that exudes the intensity of a character who has inspired both admiration and vitriol in the hearts and minds of generations of Americans.