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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Hillsboro in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Frederick Douglass

Tales of Horror

 
 
Frederick Douglass Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, September 20, 2010
1. Frederick Douglass Marker
Inscription.  The anti-slavery movement was a major factor in the regional contention that led to the Civil War. During the 1840s and 1850s, no individual generated greater support in both America and Europe for that movement than Frederick Douglass. His eloquent speeches and writings were uniquely influential because they were based on his personal experiences as a Maryland slave from his birth near Hillsboro in 1818 until his escape from Baltimore in 1838.

Many of Douglass' best known and most notorious descriptions of slave life were based on events in and around Hillsboro. His separation from his mother in 1824 and the division of his family among slaveholders in 1828 occurred 1.5 miles south of Hillsboro on the west side of the Tuckahoe River. Other events occurred just south of Hillsboro on the east side of the Tuckahoe, including the "murder" of his wife's cousin. The brutal beating of Douglass' brother Perry in 1828 by a drunken slaveholder may have occurred in the village of Hillsboro.

These experiences, which Douglass called his "tales of horror," were graphically related in his 1845 and 1855 autobiographies as well as in his
Frederick Douglass Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, September 20, 2010
2. Frederick Douglass Marker
prolific essays and speeches. Doubtless, the residents of Douglass' sleepy home town (population 180) would have been shocked to know that the local experiences of a slave child would eventually be related to a worldwide audience and thereby help increase the sectional passions that resulted in the Civil War.

[On left, image of Frederick Douglass, and text:] Frederick Douglass began his first autobiography in 1845: "I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough..."

[On right, image of Anne Murray Douglass, and text:] Douglass' wife Anne Murray Douglass and her family were from "Tuckahoe Neck" just south of Hillsboro.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 38° 55.023′ N, 75° 56.685′ W. Marker is in Hillsboro, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is on Main Street (Alternate Maryland Route 404) 0.4 miles west of Ridgely Road (Maryland Route 480), on the left when traveling west. Marker is next to a public boat ramp. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro MD 21641, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker
Tuckahoe River image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, September 20, 2010
3. Tuckahoe River
Looking west toward the Main Street bridge.
, measured as the crow flies. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Forging Freedom from Places of Bondage (approx. half a mile away); A Champion for Equality (approx. half a mile away); The Beloved Tuckahoe Home of Frederick Douglass (approx. half a mile away); Honoring an American Hero (approx. half a mile away); Adkins Arboretum (approx. 2.6 miles away); St. Joseph’s Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Tuckahoe Neck Meeting House (approx. 5.7 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 680 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on August 7, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 6, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021