Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Taking Refuge from Slavery
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
In the 1840s and 1850s, settings like Blackwater offered refuge to Rit Geen Ross, Harriet Tubman’s mother, when she successfully hid her son Moses in Greenbriar Swamp, so that he could not be sold to a Georgia slave trader.
Remember, when you bike or drive the refuge’s Wildlife Drive, paddle the rivers, or walk a trail, that for slaves fleeing the area, knowledge of the rivers, marshes, fields, and forests meant the difference between freedom, perishing, or a return to slavery.
“The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.”
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
(Inscription under the painting at the top)
Bernarda Bryson Shahn-In Hiding, ca. 1935. Ink and watercolor
(Inscription under the photo in the bottom)
A sunset over Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Courtesy of Becky Gregory
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans. In addition, it is included in the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 38° 26.814′ N, 76° 7.134′ W. Marker is in Cambridge, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker is on Key Wallace Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cambridge MD 21613, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Welcome to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Why Use Native Plants? (approx. 0.2 miles away); Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel (approx. ¾ mile away); The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (approx. 1.1 miles away); Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center (approx. 1.1 miles away); Pool One at Wildlife Drive (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cambridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 465 times since then. Last updated on March 17, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 11, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 20, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.