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Dorchester County Courthouse


Dorchester County Courthouse

"Challenging Slavery"
In 1850, Harriet Tubman’s niece, Kessiah, and her two children escaped from the auction block at the front of the courthouse. Kessiah’s husband, John Bowley, a free black ship carpenter, whisked them away and transported them by boat to Baltimore, where Harriet met them and led them to Philadelphia.

The original courthouse burned in 1852. This building, constructed in 1854, stood at the center of Cambridge’s political and economic life. Several significant incidents occurred at this site during the height of the Underground Railroad. In 1857, the trial of Samuel Green, a free black farmer, Methodist preacher and Underground Railroad agent, drew national attention when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for owning a copy of the anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In 1858, Hugh Hazlett, an Irish laborer and Underground Railroad conductor, was captured and brought by boat to be imprisoned here. He escaped, was recaptured and later sentenced to 44 years for assisting fugitive slaves.

GPS Coordinates: 38.571992,-76.076497


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By mid-March 1857, rumours were circulating that the Rev. Samuel Green of East New Market had played a...

On the day of the auction, a small crowd of buyers assembled in front of the courthouse doors a little...