This article first appeared in Chesapeake Bay Magazine
The Chesapeake Bay region and the state of Maryland hold some of the best-documented history from the events of the Underground Railroad. For the second year in a row, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed September International Underground Railroad Month.
As part of the month-long recognition of these self-liberations, new outdoor exhibits will be unveiled at Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe, in Queen Anne on the Eastern Shore.
Maryland has the most documented successful escapes utilizing the Underground Railroad and the most National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sites—85 of them.
International Underground Railroad Month acknowledges the Underground Railroad’s contribution to ending slavery in the United States and its role as a cornerstone for the early civil rights movement that followed. It is also meant to honor the brave men and women involved in the effort, including national leaders like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Josiah Henson, and Henry Highland Garnet.
September is an appropriate month because it marks two significant milestones: Douglass’s 182nd self-liberation from Baltimore’s President Street Station on September 3 and the 171st anniversary of Tubman’s self-liberation from Maryland’s Eastern Shore on September 17.
Visitors can learn more about both leaders thanks to Maryland historic sites, like the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway or Maryland’s Frederick Douglass Driving Tour.
“Maryland has attractions, historical sites, and programming that recognize the brave men, women, and children who traveled along the Underground Railroad to freedom and those who assisted them,” says Governor Hogan.
To learn more about the Bay region’s role for freedom-seekers on the Underground Railroad, visit https://www.visitmaryland.org/UGRR.