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Somewhere between mythic and make-believe slave narratives, you want to hit pause and go searching for the truth of how, for instance, a fugitive slave slipped into Poplar Neck, Md. Sitting on 17 acres, the center will be part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Bywaya mile self-guided driving tour that wends through 36 ificant sites along the Eastern Shore. From the early s until the mids, thousands of African-Americans would encounter the marshy wooded landscape of the Chesapeake Bay region, first as a gateway through which slave traders forcibly brought them from Africa into the colonies and later as essential paths and waterways that formed the Underground Railroad.
Larson writes. I listened as a group of museum volunteers traded in vivid, harrowing detail stories about Tubman. She was born in nearby Peters Neck, on a farm owned by Anthony Thompson, a medical doctor and timber magnate, and was later moved to Bucktown.
It is a serene drive, as the landscape shifts quickly from urban to wide-open rural spaces, with acres of barren, tan-colored land stretching miles into the distance, punctuated by the occasional farmhouse. From toenslaved and free blacks dug a seven-mile canal through the marsh for commercial transportation.
I also stopped briefly at the Stanley Institute, a one-room 19th-century schoolhouse that doubled as a church, and I sat at one of its wooden desks. Tubman herself never learned to read or write. It was there that Tubman, as a teenager, showed early s of rebellion — and she paid dearly for it. The slave apparently had left the farm without permission.
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When the overseer ordered Tubman to help him restrain the man, she refused and the slave broke away. The overseer then grabbed a two-pound weight off the counter, threw it at the fleeing slave and instead struck Tubman.
Nearly a decade later, she married John Tubman, a free black man, even as she continued in servitude to the Brodess family. When her master died inTubman and two of her brothers, Harry and Ben, fearing they would be sold, ran away — later returning for fear of punishment. A note apparently written by Edward Brodess, who owned Harriet Tubman, which states the purchase of a woman that could be a relative of Harriet.
Harriet tubman’s path to freedom
Tubman was a slave at the Brodess Farm here along with members of her family. When he died, she and her brothers fled. Shortly after returning to the farm, Tubman set out on her own, guided through the night by the North Star and well-worn paths of the Underground Railroad up into Pennsylvania, where slavery was illegal.
In Philadelphia, she was free, working odd jobs, but lonely. I would make a home for dem in de North, and de Lord helping me, I would bring dem all dere. He secured the highest bid for Kessiah and their two children, smuggled them to a local safe house, then sailed up the Chesapeake to Baltimore, where Tubman greeted them and guided them to Philadelphia. The rescue must have inspired Tubman.
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Tubman was no-nonsense on these journeys, unwilling to suffer weakness among those ing her perilous flight. Larson writes in her Tubman biography. She bribed people. She followed rivers that snaked northward.
She used the stars and other natural phenomenon to lead her north. Along with gorgeous views of the Choptank River, the area is rich with history. Thompson, who owned 2, acres of this area. This is where free blacks and slaves met with Tubman in secrecy to plot escapes along the Underground Railroad.
I stopped at a small log cabin built in the s by James Webb, a free black farmer who lived there with his enslaved wife and four children. Then they invited me inside their home and treated me to a delicious soup of kidney and navy beans grown on their farm. They often stopped in Dover, where they would frequently be aided by free black and Quaker abolitionists. There the black community would later build Star Hill A. Church, which today houses a small museum.
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The museum inside the church also tells the story of white Quakers, who, opposing slavery because of religious beliefs, had freed their slaves several decades before the Emancipation Proclamation in So these abolitionist connections run deep through families in this area. For more than four decades, Garrett assisted some 2, enslaved people on their journey to freedom, providing them with food, shelter, money and connections to other abolitionists.
A decade earlier, Tubman had described her faith in a letter to Ednah Dow Cheney, the philanthropist and suffragist. He set the North Star in the heavens. He gave me the strength in my limbs. He meant I should be free.
Please upgrade your browser. Delaware Bay. Chesapeake Bay. Choptank River. Trailhead Cambridge, Md. Among those few was Tubman.
Harriet Tubman Museum I listened as a group of museum volunteers traded in vivid, harrowing detail stories about Tubman. In the Mire Bucktown, Md. Along the way I encountered some fascinating sites:.
Stanley Institute I also stopped briefly at the Stanley Institute, a one-room 19th-century schoolhouse that doubled as a church, and I sat at one of its wooden desks. Brodess Farm A note apparently written by Edward Brodess, who owned Harriet Tubman, which states the purchase of a woman that could be a relative of Harriet.
The Return Shortly after returning to the farm, Tubman set out on her own, guided through the night by the North Star and well-worn paths of the Underground Railroad up into Pennsylvania, where slavery was illegal.
Due North Poplar Neck, Md. Mount Pleasant Cemetery This is where free blacks and slaves met with Tubman in secrecy to plot escapes along the Underground Railroad. Star Hill A. Church The museum inside the church also tells the story of white Quakers, who, opposing slavery because of religious beliefs, had freed their slaves several decades before the Emancipation Proclamation in Higgins for The New York Times.
More Underground Railroad Sites:.