Agriculture on the Riley Plantation
"Gradually the disposal of everything raised on the farm,—the wheat, oats, hay, fruit, butter, and whatever else there might be,—was confided to me, and it was quite evident that I could and did sell for better than any one else he could employ."
Working six days a week, enslaved people ensured the productivity and prosperity of the Riley plantation. Men, women, and children produced cash crops, initially tobacco, then later, wheat and corn. Josiah Henson described the exhausting process of bringing the products to market, leaving at midnight to work selling the products all day in Georgetown, and returning home, "hungry and tired, and nine times out of ten, reap my sole reward in curses for not getting higher prices."
In order to bring goods to market, Josiah Henson was able to travel to Rockville and Georgetown, far beyond the confines of his home plantation. There, he likely interacted with free blacks and saw the promise of freedom.
When the agricultural census taker evaluated the livestock owned by Isaac Riley in 1850,
Erected 2021 by Montgomery Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 39° 2.634′ N, 77° 7.311′ W. Marker is in North Bethesda, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Old Georgetown Road (Maryland Route 187) 0.1 miles south of Tilden Lane, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11420 Old Georgetown Rd, Rockville MD 20852, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Meathouse: A Food Vault (here, next to this marker); Life in the Slave Quarters (a few steps from this marker); Archaeology at Josiah Henson Park (a few steps from this marker); Return to the Riley Farm (a few steps from this marker); The Riley Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); A Royal Audience (within shouting distance of this marker); Josiah Henson (within shouting distance of this marker); Farm Road Bed (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Bethesda.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 4, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.