WHEELING, W.Va. – Roger Micker will present “The Life of John Brown” at West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling on Thursday, Oct. 19. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

During a moonlit night in mid-October 1859, a volunteer army of 21 men ventured into western Virginia. Under the command of John Brown, their intent was to "go down into Africa" and liberate slaves throughout the South. After a two-day siege against local militia and the U.S. marines, commanded by Robert E. Lee, the attempt was short lived. Trapped inside the fire engine house at the federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Brown, suffering from several wounds, surrendered. On Dec. 2, John Brown was sent to the gallows at Charlestown, Va. A page in American history was about to be turned.

Micker is a retired history teacher from Steubenville High School in Stuebenville, Ohio. He is one of two teachers who serves on the Ohio Governor’s Civil War Historical Committee.

The lecture is sponsored by the Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable and is an introduction to the John Brown Mock Trial, which will be held at WVIH on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 12:30 p.m.

For more information about WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or

West Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, except for major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public, but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.