Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams (HM36U)

Location: Big Pool, MD 21711 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 36.615', W 78° 0.292'

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A Prosperous Farm

Nathan Williams was the son of Samuel "Big Sam" Williams, a slave who in 1826 bought freedom for himself, his wife, and his four children. In 1839, the elder Williams purchased a farm near Four Locks, about 3.5 miles east of Fort Frederick. There, Nathan Williams fell in love with a slave named Ammy on adjoining farm and bought her freedom for $60 in 1847. In 1860, just before the Civil War, the couple acquired the Fort Frederick tract for $7,000.

When the 1st Maryland Infantry (U.S.) garrisoned the fort in 1861-62, officers occupied the Williams house, which was located near the present park gift shop and Ammy Williams cooked their meals. Nathan Williams sold produce to the soldiers here as well as to the Confederates across the Potomac River. He justified his fraternization with the Confederates by passing information to the Federals.

After the war, Williams dismantled most of the fort's northwest bastion to construct a barn. Inside the fort he built animal pens and planted grapevines, vegetables, and a small orchard. He also cultivated the fields outside and bought more land to expand his farm as he prospered.

In 1884, Nathan Williams died, and the farm passed to his family. By the 1890s, public sentiment in Maryland spurred efforts by the state to reacquire the fort. In 1911, the Williams family sold 189.5 acres with the fort. The state bought it in 1922 to create Fort Frederick. Maryland's first state park.
HM NumberHM36U
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 3:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 757133 N 4388787
Decimal Degrees39.61025000, -78.00486667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 36.615', W 78° 0.292'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 36' 36.90" N, 78° 0' 17.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10924 Fort Frederick Rd, Big Pool MD 21711, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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