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Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William L. Chaplin Arrested!

 
 
William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
1. William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker
Inscription. On August 8, 1850 a hired carriage was forcibly stopped in the middle of Brookeville Pike (Georgia Avenue) near this spot by a Sheriff's posse from Washington, D.C. and a shoot-out ensued. The carriage was driven by William Chaplin, who was unarmed, and was carrying two men attempting to escape from slavery; Garland White, belonged to Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia, and Allen, belonging to Senator Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia. The posse consisted of six men led by John Goddard who were heavily armed and shot into the carriage after stopping it by ramming a fence rail through the wheel spokes. At least one of the fugitives returned fire before jumping from the carriage and running away. Mr. Chaplin was hauled from the carriage and beaten. Both African-Americans were slightly wounded as was one of the members of the posse. Allen was returned to his owner, and Garland White turned himself in three days later. White later escaped and served as chaplain for the 28th regiment, U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War.

William Chaplin was a leader of the Liberty Party and active in the Albany Vigilance Committee. He had come to Washington from New York four years earlier to take the place of Charles Torrey, an abolitionist and operative on the underground railroad, who died in prison in 1846. Chaplin had been active during that time
William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 22, 2007
2. William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker
helping fugitives escape an purchasing slaves in order to free them with money provided by the Vigilance Committee. He arranged the ill-fated flight from Washington, D.C. of 77 enslaved people aboard the ship Pearl in 1848.

Since there was originally some dispute over whether the arrest took place in D.C. or in Maryland, Chaplin was imprisoned in Washington for six weeks and released on $6,000 bond, and was subsequently imprisoned in Maryland for thirteen weeks and released on $19,000 bond on December 24, 1850. The bond money was raised by fellow abolitionists. Chaplin left the area when released, forfeiting the bond, and never came to trial.
 
Erected by National Underground Railroad - Network to Freedom.
 
Location. 38° 59.105′ N, 77° 1.583′ W. Marker is in Silver Spring, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Avenue (at milepost 97) and Blair Road, on the right when traveling north on Georgia Avenue. Touch for map. Located at the west entrance to Jesup Blair Park. Marker is in this post office area: Silver Spring MD 20910, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Civil War in Silver Spring (a few steps from this marker); Original Federal Boundary Stone NE 1
Detail of John Yanson's illustration image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 6, 2011
3. Detail of John Yanson's illustration
William L. Chaplin's carriage is stopped in front of The Moorings (Jesup Blair House)
(about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line in District of Columbia); Jesup Blair House (about 500 feet away); The Blair Family and the Civil War (about 600 feet away); Silver Spring Experienced by a Mother and Child, 1861-1865 (about 600 feet away); The Blair Family and their Silver Spring Homes (about 600 feet away); Living in Takoma Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Blair Mansion: Silver Spring / Blair Station Post Office (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Silver Spring.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of William L. Chaplin, Senator Robert Toombs, and Alexander H. Stephens. The lower section of the marker is a depiction of the incident described in the text.
 
Also see . . .  National Underground Railroad - Network to Freedom. The National Park Service coordinates preservation and education efforts through this program. (Submitted on December 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil Rights
 
Detail of John Yanson's illustration image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 6, 2011
4. Detail of John Yanson's illustration
William L.Chaplin is dragged from his carriage
Jesup Blair House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 22, 2007
5. Jesup Blair House
In 1850 this was "The Moorings" the newly built summer home of James and Mary Blair
William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
6. William L. Chaplin Arrested! Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,794 times since then and 368 times this year. Last updated on October 25, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on December 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 16, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6. submitted on December 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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