Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Early Escape Route
Trail to Freedom
The opening of the rail line to Aquia in 1842 provided opportunity for slaves seeking freedom. In 1848, slaves William and Ellen Craft of Georgia embarked on their dangerous journey to escape. Ellen, born of a slave mother and a white father, disguised herself as a white man seeking medical treatment in the North. William assumed the role of her body servant. They traveled by train, carriage, and steamship from Georgia to Philadelphia, passing unchallenged through Aquia Landing. They reached Philadelphia — and freedom — on Christmas day 1848.
Three months later, Henry "Box" Brown became one of the most famous fugitives in American history. A slave in Richmond, Brown packed himself in a wooden box to be mailed to freedom. By wagon, train, and steamboat, Brown traveled north, sometimes upside down. After 27 hours and undetected passage through Aquia Landing, the Express Mail box carrying Henry Box Brown was delivered in Philadelphia, its occupant a slave no more.
Erected 2011 by Stafford County and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Location. 38° 23.372′ N, 77° 18.945′ W. Marker is in Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on Brooke Road (County Route 608). Click for map. Marker is in Aquia Landing County Park (formerly Aquia-Po Beach Park). Marker is at or near this postal address: 2846 Brooke Rd, Stafford VA 22554, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gateway to Freedom (here, next to this marker); Steamships, Stages and Slave Trade (here, next to this marker); Aquia Landing (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Aquia Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); Patawomeck Tribe Village (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Aquia Landing (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Aquia Landing (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mason's Homestead (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Stafford.
Also see . . . Trail to Freedom web site (Submitted on February 7, 2011, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 862 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.