“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Denton in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Revolution or Fraud?

Emancipation in Caroline Co.

Revolution or Fraud? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, November 3, 2007
1. Revolution or Fraud? Marker
Inscription. Maryland slaves were not freed by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which excluded states that remained in the Union from its provisions. It was Maryland's new constitution, adopted by the narrow margin of 291 votes of almost 60,000 cast on November 2, 1864, that ended slavery in the state. The voluntary abolition of slavery here boosted the reelection campaign of President Abraham Lincoln. Though hailed as "The Mighty Revolution," emancipation and the new constitution resulted from suspicious circumstances. Albert Gullett, editor of the Denton Journal, declared the process to have been full of "outrages and frauds" that disfranchised at least 1,000 voters in Caroline County.

     Gullett asserted that more than half of the eligible voters in Caroline County did not attempt to vote for fear of arrest by Union soldiers; potential opponents of the constitution were closely interrogated and forced to prove their loyalty; opponents of emancipation were denied the right to vote; protesters were arrested; and half the votes against the constitution in Denton were deliberately destroyed. Eighty-nine men signed an affidavit supporting the latter assertion. When disfranchised citizens of Caroline filed legal actions, a Union general ordered their arrest. Gullett was ultimately forced from his newspaper and later committed suicide.
John Emerson House image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, November 3, 2007
2. John Emerson House
Now the Rural Life Museum located on 2nd Street across from the Court House.
In this strange manner occurred the emancipation of Maryland slaves, the revolutionary moral accomplishment of the Civil War. (Insert): John Emerson, chief election judge during the vote in Denton, was accused of destroying ballots and other irregularities. Above is the dwelling owned by Emerson in 1864, now the Museum of Rural Life located one block north of Second Street.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 53.192′ N, 75° 49.954′ W. Marker is in Denton, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and 2nd Street, on the right when traveling west on Market Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Denton MD 21629, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Caroline Courthouse-In the Shadow of Justice (a few steps from this marker); Caroline Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); On this spot Sept. 5, 1938 stood Franklin Delano Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); John Wilkes Booth (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Wars of World Conflict (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Moses and the Hounds (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hubs of Activity (approx. 0.4 miles away); Steamboats on the Choptank River (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Denton.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsNotable EventsNotable PersonsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,891 times since then and 101 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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