Harmony in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
“Sailing Away to Freedom”
— Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway —
Gilpin’s Point was one of the busiest wharves along the Choptank River in Caroline County where steamboats and sailing vessels transported people, timber, agricultural products, and seafood. It sat just upriver from Dr. Anthony C. Thompson’s plantation where Harriet Tubman’s parents lived and where Tubman herself conducted several of her most famous escapes.
Forty-year-old Joseph Cornish, a blacksmith and minister, was enslaved by Capt. Samuel W. LeCompte, USN, who worked him very hard. Joseph was married to a free woman and the father of five children. His struggle for freedom came at great personal cost. On December 8, 1855, Cornish most likely knew about the Underground Railroad network Harriet Tubman relied upon in Philadelphia and New York, when he started out from Cambridge on “foot for Gilpin’s Point, where he had heard there was a vessel about to sail.”
Joseph Cornish “worked his passage” to Baltimore, and then he made his way to UGRR agent William Still in Philadelphia on Christmas Day. From there, Cornish was rushed to agent Sydney H. Gay in New York City, who forwarded Cornish to St. Catherines, Ontario,
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway follows the Choptank River to Delmarva. Explore the 125-mile road and follow Tubman and others in their quest for freedom. Learn more about the byway at www.HarrietTubmanByway.org. Freedom Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, and the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1789.
Location. 38° 48.582′ N, 75° 53.802′ W. Marker is in Harmony, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is on Holly Park Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 23322 Holly Park Dr, Preston MD 21655, 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. William Richardson (within shouting distance of this marker); Frederick Douglass (approx. 1.7 miles away); Colonel William Richardson (approx. 1.8 miles away); Charles Dickenson (approx. 3˝ miles away); The Food Sources of Enslaved Afro-MarylandersWilliam Still: "Father of the Underground Railroad" (approx. 3.7 miles away); Peter Still: The Kidnapped and the Ransomed (approx. 3.7 miles away); Sydney Still: "Sydney's Choice" (approx. 3.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 633 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 1, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.