Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Taking Refuge from Slavery

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Taking Refuge from Slavery (HM1HTL)

Location: Cambridge, MD 21613 Dorchester County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 26.814', W 76° 7.134'

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

It is no accident that for years more fugitives escaped from slavery in Maryland than any other state—the 1850 census recorded 259 runaways. Location played a critical role in these escapes. Networks of black and white abolitionists helped fugitives across borders to adjacent free states. Local terrain contributed too.

In the 1840s and 1850s, settings like Blackwater offered refuge to Rit Geen Ross, Harriet Tubman's mother, when she successfully hid her son Moses in Greenbriar Swamp, so that he could not be sold to a Georgia slave trader.

Remember, when you bike or drive the refuge's Wildlife Drive, paddle the rivers, or walk a trail, that for slaves fleeing the area, knowledge of the rivers, marshes, fields, and forests meant the difference between freedom, perishing, or a return to slavery.

"The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears."
Frederick Douglas-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas.

(Inscription under the painting at the top) Bernarda Bryson Shahn-In Hiding, ca. 1935. Ink and watercolor Art-Estate of Bernarda Bryson Shahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

(Inscription under the photo in the bottom) A sunset over Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Courtesy of Becky Gregory

Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 3:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 402361 N 4255994
Decimal Degrees38.44690000, -76.11890000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 26.814', W 76° 7.134'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 26' 48.84" N, 76° 7' 8.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Visitor Center Access Rd, Cambridge MD 21613, US
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