Lives In Limbo: A Contraband Camp In the Shadow of John Brown’s Fort

On Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th from 11 am to 4 pm, join Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s living history staff and volunteers as they step back to the tense days when African American contraband stole and defined their own freedom in the shadow of John Brown’s Fort.

By 1862, runaway slaves who came into United States Army lines were called contraband – confiscated enemy property.  As contraband, African Americans experienced a safety net where slave owners seeking their valuable human property were turned away.  However, any African American venturing beyond the safety net of the military post, could be seized, returned to masters, or sold on an auction block.