Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Slavery in Rockville
In April 1862, Congress abolished slavery in Washington, D.C. District slaveholders were eligible for monetary compensation when they manumitted (freed) their slaves. Because the Beall sisters held several slaves who worked in the District, they qualified for compensation and received $9,400 for 17 people.
During the war, the congregation of the Rockville Methodist Episcopal Church split over the issue of slavery. The congregation included both whites and blacks. Whites sat downstairs, while slaves and freedmen worshiped upstairs in the gallery. Blacks served as local preachers and class leaders but took subservient roles to whites in the service. When white slaveholding members withdrew in 1863, they formed the Methodist Episcopal Church South and built what is now Rockville United Methodist Church (across the street). The black congregation kept the original church on Wood Lane, a block north of here, today known as Jerusalem Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church.
Some slaves took advantage of the chaos of war. Dora Higgins, a Rockville resident, noted that when Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry occupied the town on June 28, 1863, during the Gettysburg Campaign, several slaves, including her cook Maria, "cleared out."
(The first Rockvillian to enlist in the Union army
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 5.087′ N, 77° 9.33′ W. Marker is in Rockville, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from West Middle Lane west of North Adams Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. The Beall-Dawson House has a West Montgomery Avenue address. The marker is behind the house, next to the parking lot on West Middle Lane. Marker is in this post office area: Rockville MD 20852, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stonestreet Medical Museum (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Beall-Dawson House (a few steps from this marker); Beall-Dawson House and Park (within shouting distance of this marker); North Adams Street and Middle Lane Residential Area (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Higgins House (about Lucy Simpson's Rockville Institute (about 400 feet away); Rockville Baptist Church and Cemetery (about 500 feet away); Prettyman House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rockville.
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a portrait of Margaret Beall. In the lower center, is a portrait of "Josiah Henson, slave, preacher, and fugitive abolitionist, lived south of Rockville where he learned of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Beecher Stowe based her character 'Uncle Tom' on him." Next to the portrait is a reprint of a "Weems reward notice from the Montgomery County Sentinel, December 8, 1855." On the lower right a portrait of Ann Maria Weems is captioned, "Ann Maria Weeems lived in slave trader Charles M. Price's Rockville home. Dressed as a boy, she escaped via the Underground Railroad in 1855. An estimated 100,000 slaves fled bondage between 1830 and 1865."
Regarding Beall-Dawson House. The Beall-Dawson house is now headquarters of the Montgomery County Historical Society.
Also see . . .
1. Biography of Ann Maria Weems (Submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
2. Biography of Josiah Henson. Maryland State Archives (Submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
3. Beall-Dawson House Museum. (Submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
4. Beall-Dawson House. Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (PDF) (Submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
1. $500 Reward
This marker includes a reproduction of a 1855 newspaper reward notice from the Montgomery County Sentinel which reads as follows:
RAN away on Sunday night, the 23d instant, before 12 o'clock, from the subscriber, residing in Rockville, Montgomery county, MD., my NEGRO GIRL "Ann Maria Weems," about 15 years of age; a bright mullatto; some small freckles on her face; slender person, thick suit of hair, inclined to be sandy. Her parents are free, and reside in Washington, D.C. It is evident she was taken away by some one in a carriage, probably by a white man, by whom she may be carried beyond the limits of the State of Maryland.
I will give the above reward for her apprehension and detention so that I can get her again.
— Submitted January 24, 2006.
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,568 times since then and 105 times this year. Last updated on February 15, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 3, 4. submitted on January 30, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 5. submitted on February 15, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 9. submitted on January 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 10. submitted on July 2, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.