Denton in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
In the Shadow of Justice
— Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway —
Many facets of 19th century rural life focused on a county’s courthouse. Elected officials, lawyers, merchants, and ordinary citizens all had reasons to gather at the Caroline County Courthouse Square. For the enslaved and abolitionists, the square possessed a more sinister purpose.
Conducted in the shadow of the courthouse—the symbolic center of government and justice—local slave auction exhibited the inhumanity and raw, lucrative economics of the antebellum slave trade. The county jail also held abolitionists like Hugh Haziett, accused of aiding the runaways he tried to guide to freedom.
Above: As the time of their intended escape drew nearer, their anxiety grew more and more intense, their food was prepared and their clothing packed. Douglass had forged their passes. Early in the morning they went into the fields to work. At mid-day they were all called off the field, only to discover that they had been betrayed.
Right: Hammatt Billings depicted a slave auction to illustrate Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Erected by America's Byways;
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.
Location. 38° 53.184′ N, 75° 49.95′ W. Marker is in Denton, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and North 2nd Street on Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 205 Market St, Denton MD 21629, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Emancipation's Close Call (a few steps from this marker); Caroline Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); On this spot Sept. 5, 1938 stood Franklin Delano Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); President Roosevelt's Speech (within shouting distance of this marker); War Along the Chesapeake (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Carney (about 300 feet away); Great Wars of World Conflict (about 400 feet away); Two Neighbors * Two Governors * Two States (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denton.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 665 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 30, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 2. submitted on September 5, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4. submitted on December 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.