Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Dr. James Anderson House
100 South Washington Street
—Rockville's African American Heritage Walking Tour —
Long before the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, some enslaved people freed themselves by escaping to Canada. In 1856, Alfred Homer walked and ran more than 500 miles from this site to freedom, despite the dangers of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Dr. Anderson's house was located on this site, before the present 1893 house built by his daughter. On May 31, 1856, his slave Alfred Homer escaped bondage by fleeing Rockville on foot, finding temporary refuge with the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee and finally gaining freedom in Canada.
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 required the return of runaway slaves even from the non-slavery northern states. Being caught meant severe punishment or being sold into worse conditions in the Deep South.
Text of the panel on the bottom right side of the marker:
NEGRO MAN, ALFRED,
about twenty-two years of age; five feet seven inches high; dark copper color, and rather good looking.
He had on when he left a dark blue and green plaid frock coat, of cloth, and lighter colored plaid pantaloons.
I will give the above reward if taken out of the county and in any of the States, or fifty dollars if taken in the county
Erected by City of Rockville, Historic District Commission, Department of Community Planning and Development Services. (Marker Number 4.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Rockville's African American Heritage Walking Tour marker series.
Location. 39° 4.985′ N, 77° 9.16′ W. Marker is in Rockville, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of South Washington Street and East Jefferson Street (Maryland Route 28) on South Washington Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 South Washington Street, Rockville MD 20850, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hungerford Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Rockville (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Hungerford Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Hungerford Tavern Site (within shouting distance of this marker); “Out of Robb’s Window, Montgomery County Courthouse.” (within shouting Christ Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Christ Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away); Richard Montgomery (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Rockville.
Also see . . .
1. Biography of Alfred Homer. Maryland State Archives (Submitted on July 1, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
2. Biography of John W. Anderson. Maryland State Archives (Submitted on July 1, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Underground Railroad
Categories. • African Americans • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 62 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 2. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.