Harpers Ferry is a tenacious town; battered and muddied by water and war, it refuses to quit. The site of John Brown's infamous raid, which brought what the author considers the first shots of the Civil War, Harpers Ferry also has stood floods, plague, invasion, assault, cannon fire, the Depression, Prohibition, and just plain bad luck. Despite having had far more than its share of disasters, this small West Virginia hamlet survives. Harpers Ferry describes the endurance of a town split on the issue of secession, torn by the ravages of war, and constantly at the mercy of two of the nation's most unruly rivers. From its humble beginnings as the site of Robert Harper's ferry business, to today's national historical park, author Ray Jones recounts the many tales of Harpers Ferry. Today, nearly one million people visit it annually to see the little place with such a big story to tell.
While living in nearby Reston, Virginia, Ray Jones wrote about Harpers Ferry for Time-Life Books and Southern Living magazine. A highly talented historical writer, he has also been executive editor of several newspapers. Jones now lives in Castine, Maine, where he is a publisher and free-lance writer.
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