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Archive for the ‘Steam at Harpers Ferry’ Category

While working on the next documentary and researching the W.E.B. Du Bois papers for Niagara Movement documents, I came across a letter written by Ben W. Azikiwe to W.E.B. Du Bois on February 24, 1926. He lists his unpublished works and asks whether The Crisis publishes books.

The name “Ben Azikiwe” was familiar to me because of a photo display of Storer Graduates at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Sure enough, the Ben Azikiwe with whom I was familiar was the same person. He is better known as Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria.

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In light of all the impeachment discussions, including the impeachment of Secretary of the Army William W. Belknap, below is an excerpt from documentary “Hidden in Plain Sight-Revealing the Concealed Harper’s Ferry Cemeteries.” Secretary Belknap was impeached 1876 with regard to federal government contracts. In 1869, Secretary Belknap approved the sale and transfer of former Federal Government land, including land for Pine Grove Cemetery and land purchased by the M.E. Church which was later designated as the Cedar Hill Cemetery. Purchasers were offered extremely loose and speculator-friendly terms, the enforcement laxity after the 1870 flood during which more than 30 members of the African American Myers-Bateman family perished, left several legitimate and speculative investors in financial straights. Repayment terms were not met for several months. It took 18 years for Harpers Ferry and the Federal Government to financially recover from 1869 land speculator sales.

Script excerpt from documentary “Hidden In Plain Sight – Revealing the Concealed Harper’s Ferry Cemeteries”

Impeached Secretary of War
William W. Belknap

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We were so excited to be an Official Selection for for the October-November 2020 Beyond the Curve International Film Festival! Despite everything, some very encouraging things happened during the second half of this year.

The Spirit of Jefferson reviewed the film in advance of it being made publicly available, which was wonderful. You can see the review here.

Thanks to all of you who have helped us get this documentary together including our interviewees Pastor Edward Hall and Bonnie Zampino.

We can’t wait to have you all see it early 2021.

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“Hidden in Plain Sight-Revealing the Concealed HF Cemeteries” soundtrack by Grammy Award winning artist and the documentary’s music director Clark Gayton.

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Steam at Harpers Ferry is pleased to announce the completion of documentary film “Hidden in Plain Sight – Revealing the Concealed Harpers Ferry Cemeteries” in collaboration with Bot Studios under the joint project Rabbit Hole History Productions. Currently, we are privately screening the film with individuals in anticipation of a wider public screening opportunity in the near future.

HiddenPlainSightposter

Two cemeteries are featured. One cemetery was set aside by the United States Armory at Harpers Ferry in 1852 at the request of the citizenry, where Union soldiers were later buried. Another holds the remains of African American residents, including an African American soldier who was a private in the United States Colored Troops. Both are investigated using public records, interviews with local residents, and other clues to explain why these cemeteries were ignored in a town so rich in history.

Here is the trailer:

Also check out the soundtrack for the film plus bonus track “3rd Avenue Bridge”!

Clark Gayton was the Music Director for the documentary film “Hidden in Plain Sight – Revealing the Concealed Harpers Ferry Cemeteries”

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Although the Gallery closed several years ago, I have continued researching and writing about the region. Pretty excited about this new direction, so as things progress, I will make an effort to update everyone here.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Steam at Harper’s Ferry has 5 editions of The National Intelligencer newpaper dating from April 10 through April 22, 1823. They are all addressed to “E.D. Howe Painesville via Pittsburg.”  This newspaper was a leading political publication and was founded in Washington, DC in 1800. The founder, Samuel Harrison Smith was married to Margaret Bayard Smith who wrote the book “The First Forty Years of Washington Society.”

E. D. (Eber Dudley) Howe was the founder and editor of the Painesville Telegraph which was published and edited by him in Painesville, Ohio from 1822 to 1835. The paper continued its publication until 1987. While living in Painesville, his wife, sister and niece converted to Mormonism. Howe became interested in the religion’s history, which was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the 1820s. His interest resulted in the 1834 publication of a book entitled “Mormonism Unvailed” (sic).

Howe was an abolitionist and his home was used as a station for the Underground Railroad. His wife was one of the first women in the region to join the anti-slavery movement.

Though it is most likely that Howe read the newspaper because of its political content, he may have been just as interested in the slave sales advertised within its pages. On the front page, for example, there is an advertisement for

“A NEGRO WOMAN, about 25 years of age. She is a good cook, washer, and ironer and can be recommended as strictly honest. Apply at the new City Auction and Commission Rooms, corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania avenue, Opposite the Centre Market. , P. Mauro, auctioneer.”

On the same page is an article about Major General La Fayette,:

“The President of the United States, in commemoration of the distinguished services of Major General La Fayette, during the Revolutionary War, has directed that the fortress recently erected at the Narrows, near New York, an hitherto called Fort Diamond, shall hereafter be known by the name of Fort La Fayette[Note:  Fort La Fayette was used for Confederate prisoners from 1861 – 1866]. The ceremony in conformity thereto, took place on Monday last, at 1 o’clock, P. M.”

[Fort Lafayette.]

Fort La Fayette was used for Confederate prisoners from 1861 – 1866.

Promoting revolution and slavery in the nation’s capital circa 1823.

These newspapers and others are available for purchase from Steam at Harper’s Ferry. Please contact us for prices and shipping fees.

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The Steampunk World’s Fair 2014 was an amazing event. Steam at Harper’s Ferry was very fortunate to participate in the first Steampunk Art Fair at the Steampunk World’s Fair along with other artists. Eric Holstine, Leigh Anne Cassell and Jason Edwards all had work on display at the event.

 

Eric Holstine’s “From the Earth to the Heavens” and a 3D banner from Steam at Harper’s Ferry collection featuring “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

 

What’s this? Jason Edwards’ “Steambutt.”

Steambutt by Jason Edwards

 

Here is Leigh Anne Cassell with Doc – as in Doc in her “Steampunk Dr. Who” illustration!

The Doctor Rosa and Leigh Anne Cassell

Here’s hoping the organizers make this an annual event!

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The “Guide to Creating and Protecting Fictional Characters” 2nd edition, was released at the Steampunk World’s Fair last weekend during a workshop entitled “Girl Genius(R) versus Sherlock Holmes: Character Development and the Law.” It is now available in Kindle format!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KIWUB36/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

 

 

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