The Perkins House, formerly known as the Gibson-Todd House, was built in 1891 in Charles Town, W.V., for Col. John T. Gibson. Gibson was a leader of the Virginia militia that helped Robert E. Lee capture abolitionist John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Brown was convicted at the nearby Charles Town Court House of treason and murder and sentenced to death. Despite fierce objections from many of the country’s leading intellectuals, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Brown was executed six weeks later by hanging (both “Stonewall” Jackson and John Wilkes Booth watched Brown die) on nearby property that Gibson owned. The Harpers Ferry raid and death were significant incidents leading to the Civil War. Brown was seen as a hero in the North and a terrorist in the South. More than 30 years later in 1891, Gibson built his mansion on the land where Brown was executed. It is now up for auction through Sept. 11.
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