Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (HM1ANC)

Location: Denton, MD 21629 Caroline County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.023', W 75° 56.685'

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Tales of Horror

The anti-slavery movement was a major factor in the regional contention that led to the Civil War. During the 1840s and 1850s, no individual generated greater support in both America and Europe for that movement than Frederick Douglass. His eloquent speeches and writings were uniquely influential because they were based on his personal experiences as a Maryland slave from his birth near Hillsboro in 1818 until his escape from Baltimore in 1838.

Many of Douglass' best known and most notorious descriptions of slave life were based on events in and around Hillsboro. His separation from his mother in 1824 and the division of his family among slaveholders in 1828 occurred 1.5 miles south of Hillsboro on the west side of the Tuckahoe River. Other events occurred just south of Hillsboro on the east side of the Tuckahoe, including the "murder" of his wife's cousin. The brutal beating of Douglass' brother Perry in 1828 by a drunken slaveholder may have occurred in the village of Hillsboro.

These experiences, which Douglass called his "tales of horror," were graphically related in his 1845 and 1855 autobiographies as well as in his prolific essays and speeches. Doubtless, the residents of Douglass' sleepy home town (population 180) would have been shocked to know that the local experiences of a slave child would eventually be related to a worldwide audience and thereby help increase the sectional passions that resulted in the Civil War.

[text with image of Frederick Douglass on the left] Frederick Douglass began his first autobiography in 1845: "I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough..."

[text with image of Anne Murray Douglass on the right] Douglass' wife Anne Murray Douglass and her family were from "Tuckahoe Neck" just south of Hillsboro.
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 11:52am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 418096 N 4307995
Decimal Degrees38.91705000, -75.94475000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.023', W 75° 56.685'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 1.38" N, 75° 56' 41.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 21929 Main St, Denton MD 21629, US
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