Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. It was formerly Harper's Ferry with an apostrophe and that form continues to appear in some references. It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac andShenandoah rivers where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet. It is the easternmost town in West Virginia.
In 1734, the Quaker colonist Robert Harper was given a patent on a 125-acre (0.5 km2) parcel of land at the present location of the town. In 1761, Harper established a ferry across the Potomac, making the town a starting point for settlers moving into the Shenandoah Valley and further west. In 1763, the Virginia General Assembly established the town of "Shenandoah Falls at Mr. Harper's Ferry." On October 25, 1783, Thomas Jefferson visited Harpers Ferry. He viewed "the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge" from arock that is now named for him. This stop took place as Jefferson was traveling to Philadelphia and passed through Harpers Ferry with his daughter Patsy. Jefferson called the site "perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature."