Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 355-336.
Harper's Ferry is distant 173 miles from Richmond, 57 from Washington city, and 30 from Winchester, with which it is connected by a rail-road. This thriving manufacturing village is situated at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Its name is derived from a ferry, long since established across the Potomac, where the river breaks through the Blue Ridge; at this place it is about 1200 feet in height. The name of the place was originally Shenandoah Falls.
Harper's Ferry is compactly, though irregularly built, around the foot of a hill; but the engraving annexed shows but a small portion of it. It contains about a dozen mercantile stores, several mechanical and manufacturing establishments, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Catholic, 1 Methodist, and 1 Free Church; and, including the suburbs, has a population of over 3,000. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal passes along the left bank of the Potomac, and the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road passes through the town. The town is connected with the Maryland side by a fine bridge across the Potomac, of about 800 feet in length. The United States Armory and the National Arsenal, at Harper's Ferry, are worthy of attention. In the latter, 80,000 or 90,000 muskets are usually kept, which, as they are sent away, are replaced by others from the factories.