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John Brown: Monuments and Mythology

August 3 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Handley Regional Library System has a special program reflecting on the history of John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and the impact of race relations. John Brown:  Monuments and Mythology will be on August 3rd at 2PM at Handley Library in Winchester. Free and open to the public, the presentation is led by David Fox, a recently retired park ranger from the National Park Service. Fox will tell the stories of monuments and plaques dedicated to a key figure, Winchester’s own Heyward Shepherd, who was recognized as a free black man who lived in Winchester and was the first person killed in the raid, and the controversies surrounding the actions and history of the event. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Handley Regional Library System.

The Heyward Shepherd monument was erected in 1931 with plaques installed in 1932, 1955, and 1994. Many groups challenged plaque text using the wording “faithful slave” and the intent of the original monument – further showing larger social concerns with history and race.

About the Presenter

After 30 years with the National Park Service, David retired from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in October 2018. Starting out as an environmentalist, he got bit by the ‘history bug’ and has been consumed by the history of Harpers Ferry ever since. His special interests include the impact of 19th century race relations on American society and the influence of geology and geography on the cultural history of Harpers Ferry. During his tenure at the park, Fox served as curriculum instructor, evaluator and editor in the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program for eight years. He has also been credited with writing numerous park exhibitions such as: Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry, Defeat and Victory: The 1862 Battle for Harpers Ferry and Education and the Struggle for Equality: Storer College and the Niagara Movement.


August 3
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Handley Regional Library
100 W. Piccadilly Street
Winchester, VA 22601 United States
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