Harper's Ferry, Va.

Harper's Ferry, Va.

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Before the war, Harper’s Ferry was home to the United States Armory and Arsenal, which shipped weapons throughout the country. In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown launched his famous raid against this armory, hoping that his actions would trigger a large-scale slave insurrection. During the war, Harper’s Ferry switched hands eight times, because of its strategic location on both B&O Railroad and on the Mason-Dixon Line, which divided North and South. This undated, picturesque print presumably shows the town before its exposure to wartime violence. Smoke rising from a chimney in the town signifies that the armory workers are busy producing firearms. A train on the B&O railroad crosses a bridge over the Potomac in the lower left.
The print’s creator, Edward Sachse, moved to America from Germany sometime in the 1840s. He settled in Baltimore, working under E. Weber & Co., one of the city’s most prominent lithography firms. He established E. Sachse & Co. in 1850, specializing in bird’s eye views of Baltimore and Washington D.C. His brother Theodore joined the firm in the mid-1850s and after Edward’s death in 1873, Theodore’s son Adolph headed the company, as A. Sachse & Co., from 1877 to 1887.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
E. Sachse and Company
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
image: 9 in x 15 in; 22.86 cm x 38.1 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Architecture, Domestic Buildings
Architecture, Industrial Buildings
Civil War
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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