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Arts & Culture

Sacred Fire: John Brown's Raid On Harpers Ferry


One quiet autumn morning the United States was suddenly attacked by a small band of determined men inspired by a charismatic religious fanatic. The emotional response by the entire country to an unprovoked raid, which caused the deaths of innocent civilians, lead the United States to war. The year was 1859, the place was Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and the leader was John Brown.

Some of John Brown's New England supporters were prominent social reformers, individuals who became caught up in a conspiracy they were only later to completely understand. During this drama they come to grips with the fact that their support for John Brown triggered a long, bloody war. Was John Brown a saint or a madman? Were his supporters heroes or traitors?

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the raid, WYSO and the Living History Theatre, in Yellow Springs, Ohio present this original radio drama. The drama takes place during the weeks between Brown's capture and his execution, when the entire nation held its breath and slowly made its judgment.