Hillsboro in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Tales of Horror
Many of Douglass' best known and most notorious descriptions of slave life were based on events in and around Hillsboro. His separation from his mother in 1824 and the division of his family among slaveholders in 1828 occurred 1.5 miles south of Hillsboro on the west side of the Tuckahoe River. Other events occurred just south of Hillsboro on the east side of the Tuckahoe, including the "murder" of his wife's cousin. The brutal beating of Douglass' brother Perry in 1828 by a drunken slaveholder may have occurred in the village of Hillsboro.
These experiences, which Douglass called his "tales of horror," were graphically related in his 1845 and 1855 autobiographies as well as in his prolific essays and speeches. Doubtless, the residents of Douglass' sleepy home town (population 180) would have been shocked to know that the local experiences of a slave child would eventually
[text with image of Frederick Douglass on the left] Frederick Douglass began his first autobiography in 1845: "I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough..."
[text with image of Anne Murray Douglass on the right] Douglass' wife Anne Murray Douglass and her family were from "Tuckahoe Neck" just south of Hillsboro.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Location. 38° 55.023′ N, 75° 56.685′ W. Marker is in Hillsboro, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is on Main Street (Alternate Maryland Route 404) 0.4 miles west of Ridgely Road (Maryland Route 480), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is next to a public boat ramp. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro MD 21641, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Adkins Arboretum-Slavery Arboretum (approx. 2.6 miles away); St. Joseph’s Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Tuckahoe Neck Meeting House-Living Their Beliefs (approx. 5.7 miles Neck Meeting House (approx. 5.7 miles away); Neck Meeting House Native Garden (approx. 5.7 miles away); Nest of Traitors (approx. 6 miles away); Maryland Steamboat Company's Joppa Wharf at Denton (approx. 6 miles away).
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 513 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 6, 2013, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.