In partnership with the National Park Service and notable journalists, scholars, and historians, HFPA has published several titles relating to Harpers Ferry and its history.

David T. Gilbert
James Henry Burton spent ten eventful years at the Harpers Ferry Armory. During this tenure, he perfected an elongated bullet for the regulation .58-caliber rifle-musket — commonly called the Minié bullet — and helped test and perfect new lock mechanisms, barrel rifling, and machinery. 

Burton’s drawings range from simple sketches used to flesh out components of operating mechanisms to dimensioned, hand-tinted drawings of firearm components and complex machinery. According to John Symington, Supt. of the Harpers Ferry Armory, Burton’s “management was so satisfactory, and his ingenuity in devising, draughting and perfecting tools and machines so marked, as to cause me at once to select him as a fit person to fill the position of Master Armorer…” 

The Burton Drawings at Harpers Ferry focuses on the remarkable achievements of James H. Burton during his 10-year tenure at the Harpers Ferry Armory. Burton’s notes, sketches, and detailed drawings teach us a great deal about the emergence of 19th century drafting practice and the evolution of firearm technology during the decade preceding the civil war. Paperback, 64 pages.

Doug Perks

No time period in history had more impact on Jefferson County citizens than the Civil War years. Those four years saw families uprooted, homes, farms and livelihoods destroyed, and the end of six decades of arms production at Harpers Ferry. For some, the war crashed through their walls and defeaning terror. For others, it led to freedom and education. And whether by choice or not, Jefferson Countians entered the war as Virginians and left as West Virginians. 

In his first book, historian P. Douglas Perks--"Mr. Jefferson County"--uses his decades of research and writing on the topic, along with rare first person accounts of four citizens who endured these tenuous years. Perks also brings new focus to the statewide issue of secession. No state in the Union was more divided over this issue, and perhaps no other county. Who would cast their lot with the destiny of Virginia and who would remain "firmly attached to the Union of these States"? 

Paperback and Hardback, 158 pages.

Harpers Ferry Park Association

Color a visit to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with these 25 scenes hand drawn by one of the park's very own volunteer artists. Discover historic places, wildlife, amazing views, and fun facts about this national park. Purchase includes a 24-pack of crayons. Paperback, 31 pages.

Dennis Frye, Catherine Magi Oliver

One place. Countless stories. Harpers Ferry has long been a gathering point of the American story. From explorers and innovators to warriors and reformers, passionate souls with wildly diverse causes have flowed again and again into this tiny village, shaping the town--and, in many cases, the country.
Focusing on personal, human experiences recorded in journals, letters, and other documents, Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny offers a view of Harpers Ferry history that is both sweeping and intimate. Come: Discover the national dramas that have converged at Harpers Ferry. Slavery and the quest for freedom. War, expansion, and revolution. Natural disaster upon natural disaster, and the enduring human spirit that has refused to relinquish hope.
Published in honor of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s 75th anniversary, Confluence also includes perspective on the rebirth of this war- and flood-ravaged town as a national park. Under the stewardship of NPS, Harpers Ferry has continued to evolve, continued to reveal new stories. Paperback, 225 pages.

Published by the Harpers Ferry Park Association in memory of David L. Larsen, Interpreter

The diaries, letters and memoirs of the civilians and soldiers who experienced the war in Harpers Ferry have provided park interpreters an invaluable tool for transporting park visitors to the past. Here are 24 stories written by 17 interpreters, volunteers, rangers and interns that recreate six harrowing years of a town under attack. Paperback, 118 pages.


Various Contributions

A collection of recipes influenced by the confluence! Take a journey back into time with your tastebuds from the late 18th century to present day! Enjoy images of Harpers Ferry past, colorful quotes, and amusing anecdotes. Filled with both historical and modern recipes, Harpers Ferry Bill of Fare will satisfy any appetite for food or nostalgia. Spiral bound, paperback 92 pages.


Tara Bell

Follow Victoria on her adventurous day around Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. What will happen when the mischievous little kitty makes this national park her playground? Hardcover, 32 pages.

(The printing of this book was made possible by a grant from the Nora Roberts Foundation.)



Dennis E. Frye

Harpers Ferry experienced the Civil War like no other place and was a case study of repeated invasions, military operations, martial law, and endless danger. Journey into the Civil War with stories from those who lived, worked, fought, and died in a border town. This narrative is complemented by full color and black-and-white illustrations, photographs, and maps. Paperback, 200 pages.
Author Dennis E. Frye is the retired Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He is a writer, lecturer, guide, preservationist, and prominent Civil War historian. A well-know author, Dennis has written 77 articles and six books.

National Park Service
Revised in 2017, this handbook contains the day-by-day narration of Brown’s insurrection, those who were involved, details of the trial, and what happened to John Brown and his men after the raid. Published on the 150th anniversary of the raid, more than a hundred photographs, maps and historic images chronicle the account. Includes suggested reading.  Paperback, 111 pages.


Lynn Pechuekonis

A Storer alumnus, Professor Saunders was the longest serving black teacher at the school. A resident of Harpers Ferry for 54 years, he was a trusted spiritual leader and well-known figure throughout the thriving African American community then living beyond Storer’s campus. Paperback, 143 pages.


Various Authors

When John Brown came to Harpers Ferry in 1859, organizing a school for enslaved African Americans was illegal. Eight years later, after a bloody Civil War, Storer College did just that—and more. To honor the 150th anniversary of the school’s founding, Harpers Ferry Park Association, in partnership with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, invited park rangers, professors, journalists, and scholars to tell the stories of the teachers, students, and reformers who strove to manifest a new world on the “hill of hope.” This collection reveals tales of courage and conviction, success and defeat, controversy and, above all, hope. Paperback, 176 pages.


Thomas F. Hahn

The classic, must-have guidebook to the C&O Canal is back! With new photos and research, updated maps, and a 21st century makeover, Thomas Hahn’s labor of love remains the most comprehensive mile-by-mile guide to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Journey 184.5 miles past former wharfs and foundries on the Georgetown waterfront, through quant Potomac River towns, to the mountainous region of western Maryland, while exploring all of the canal locks, lockhouses, aqueducts, and culverts along the way. Read how raging floodwaters and Civil War armies wreaked havoc on canal structures. Discover nature, geology, and 19th century engineering feats, as well as stories of the laborers, locktenders, and canallers who made the C&O a monument to human ingenuity and endurance. Deftly balancing engineering details with colorful anecdote and lore, Hahn’s guidebook is the go-to resource for all things C&O. Paperback, 276 pages.


Published by the Harpers Ferry Park Association

Annie P. Marmion celebrated her ninth birthday just a month before the outbreak of the Civil War. The daughter of the town doctor in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), she kept a journal of her experiences during the war. Her words give a unique perspective of the hardships civilians endured in a town that changed hands at least eight times before the war’s end. A nephew, William Vincent Marmion, Jr., compiled and edited her writings and published them in 1959 in the booklet Under Fire: An Experience in the Civil War. This reprint by the Harpers Ferry Park Association includes annotations and vivid watercolor paintings commissioned by the National Park Services that enhance the narrative of a child living with war on her doorstep. Paperback, 29 pages.



Garnet W. Jex

Derived from a 1965 Publication of the District of Columbia Civil War Centennial Commission.
Today, the Upper Potomac Valley boasts an idyllic landscape where an indomitable river winds through quaint historic towns, rolling farmlands, and mountain vistas. Between 1859 and 1865, this was a scene of war. Battles, skirmishes, daring raids, and dangerous escapes rattled the usually peaceful region. Great armies, blue and gray, crossed the Potomac River numerous times as war shifted back and forth over this natural boundary that separated the North and South.
One hundred years later, Washington, D.C. artist Garnet W. Jex combined his love of history and natural beauty to interpret these events in a stunning collection of fifty-one opaque watercolor paintings. The paintings are presented here in full color to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial and to reveal in vivid detail the dramatic events that unfolded along the banks of the mighty river. Paperback, 56 pages.
David T. Gilbert

Guide of Virginius Island with map, historic images, and descriptions of former mills, factories, and homes on the once-thriving industrial island. Ideal for a self-guided walking tour. Pamphlet, 16 pages.

Osborne P. Anderson

A Voice from Harper’s Ferry is the singular first-person account of John Brown’s raid by one of the surviving raiders, Osborne P. Anderson. Anderson, a free black man, joined Brown’s army in Canada and followed him to Harpers Ferry in the abolitionist’s attempt to bring an end to the institute of slavery in America. This reprint by the Harpers Ferry Park Association includes a foreword by Harpers Ferry National Historical Park rangers and an essay on Anderson by award-winning author and former Washington Post writer, Eugene L. Meyer. The book also includes a series of watercolors by two artists commissioned by the National Park Service. The artwork—some never before seen by the public—brings Anderson’s dramatic story to life. Paperback, 103 pages.

David T. Gilbert
A comprehensive guidebook to the history of Harpers Ferry, including walking tours of Lower Town, Virginus Island, Maryland Heights, Loudoun Heights, and much more including detailed maps & index. Revised September 2022, the 9th edition includes new research, historic photos, illustrations and maps. Paperback, 224 pages.


David T. Gilbert

Read about Hall’s Rifle Works, the U.S. Armory and the mills on Virginius Island. Learn about the machines and equipment in these factories and meet the men and entrepreneurs who ran them. Find out more about the devastation of flooding and unpredictable streamflow that plagued local industry. Many historic photographs and detailed line drawings of machines compliment the text. Paperback, 192 pages.