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

Bucktown in Dorchester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, November 3, 2007
1. Finding Freedom Marker
The Call of Freedom
In the mid-19th century, 8,000 African Americans lived in Dorchester County. Roughly half were slaves; most of the rest worked as free laborers. Enslaved blacks, free blacks, and abolitionist whites worked together to operate the Underground Railroad, a secret network of "stations" and "conductors" that led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom and became a powerful national symbol of resistance to slavery.

A Childhood in Slavery
The Bucktown area has changed little since Harriet Tubman's childhood. Born Araminta "Minty" Ross in the early 1820s, Tubman grew up to become a daring and successful Underground Railroad conductor. After escaping bondage herself in 1849, she made 13 trips back to the Eastern Shore and led over 70 people from slavery to freedom

With strong family ties in this area, Tubman often returned to rescue her own cherished relatives and friends. Tubman, her mother and siblings were owned by Edward Brodess and lived on his farm. As early as age six or seven, Tubman was hired out to nearby farms and endured extended separations from her family.

Farm at Marker Location image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, November 3, 2007
2. Farm at Marker Location
Birthplace Question

Some written accounts and local oral history identify the Brodess farm as Tubman's birthplace although historians have not been able to verify the actual birth site. Such uncertainty is common because few slaves' births were officially documented. Other records suggest that Edward Brodess moved Tubman's mother, "Rit" Green, here from the Madison/Woolford area just after Tubman's birth.
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansWomen.
Location. 38° 27.538′ N, 76° 2.916′ W. Marker is in Bucktown, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker is on Greenbrier Road one mile west of Bestpitch Ferry Road, on the left when traveling west. 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 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Harriet Tubman (a few steps from this marker); Pool One at Wildlife Drive (approx. 2.6 miles away); Muskrat and Nutria (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem (approx. 2.8 miles away); The American Bald Eagle (approx. 2.8 miles away); Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel
Three Hundred Dollars Reward image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 20, 2018
3. Three Hundred Dollars Reward
Ran away from the subscriber on Monday the 7th Ult., three negroes, named as follows: Harry, aged about 19 years, has on one side of his neck a wen, just under the ear, he is of a dark chestnut color, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches hight; Ben, aged aged about 25 years, is very quick to speak when spoken to, he is of chestnut color, about six feet high; Minty, aged about 27 years, is of a chestnut color, fine looking, and about 5 feet high. One hundred dollars reward will be given for each of the above named negroes, if taken out of the State, and $50 each if taken in the State. They must be lodged in Baltimore, Easton or Cambridge Jail, in Maryland.

                      Eliza Ann Bodess,
           Near Bucktown, Dorchester county Md.
Oct 3d, 1849.

☞ The Delaware Gazette will please copy the above three weeks and charge this office.

Harriet Tubman first tried to escape with two of her brothers; the attempt failed. She later successfully escaped on her own. [Courtesy of Jay and Susan Meredith]
Close-up of image on marker
(approx. 3.2 miles away); Welcome to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (approx. 3.9 miles away); Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-Taking Refuge from Slavery (approx. 3.9 miles away).
Twenty-eight Fugitives Escaping from the Eastern Shore of Maryland image. Click for full size.
Internet Archive
4. Twenty-eight Fugitives Escaping from the Eastern Shore of Maryland
Tubman was able to help large groups travel by night using back roads and the Underground Railroad network. (Illustration from The Underground Rail Road by William Still, 1872)
Harriet Tubman image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. Harriet Tubman
Studio photo of Harriet Tubman probably from the late 1860s.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 4, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,162 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 4, 2007, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   3, 4, 5. submitted on January 29, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Paid Advertisement
May. 31, 2020