Robert Harper, of Harper's Ferry, VA
- H. Robert Harper, of Harper's Ferry, VA1718 - 1782
- W. Rachel Griffithabt 1720 - 1780
Facts and Events
- Robert Harper was born in Oxford Township near Philadelphia, Pa., in 1718. A builder and millwright, Harper was engaged by a group of Quakers in 1747 to erect a meeting house in the Shenandoah Valley near the present site of Winchester, Va.
Traveling through Maryland on his way to the Shenandoah Valley, Harper proceeded to "The Hole" where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. Attracted by the ample waterpower and strategic location for travel and transport, Harper obtained a patent for 125 acres in 1751. Twelve years later, in 1763, the Virginia General Assembly established the town of "Shenandoah Falls at Mr. Harper's Ferry."
In 1775, Harper commenced construction of a new home in the Lower Town. The structure was completed in 1782, but Harper, who died that same year, never occupied the house. Today the Harper House is the oldest surviving structure in the Lower Town.
- Robert Harper who founded Harper Ferry married Rachel Griffith and died a widower, without descendants. His property at Harpers ferry was left by will to Sarah Ann, daughter of Robert's brother Joseph, of Philadelphia. This Sarah Ann Harper married Johannes (John Wager, Sr., son of Peter Wager, a German emigrant. From this rather positive evidence, it must be concluded that the Robert Harper mentioned by Anderson who had a wife Sarah and ten children, and died in 1765, was not the son of the Joseph Harper who died in 1746.