20. Pritchett Meredith Farm
Betrayed by a Black Underground Railroad Conductor
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The flight of the “Dover Eight” made national headlines on March 8, 1857 when eight slaves escaped together from the Bucktown area, two of them from this farm. The group first sought help from Reverend Samuel Green in East New Market. Then they found assistance from Harriet Tubman’s father, Ben Ross, at Poplar Neck in Caroline County. Eventually they found their way to Thomas Otwell, a black Underground Railroad conductor in Delaware. Tubman trusted Otwell with the group’s safety. Instead, He betrayed her trust and lured them to the Dover jail so he could collect the $3,000 reward for their capture. With quick thinking and a show of force, the group successfully broke out of the jail and fled to Wilmington, then Philadelphia, and finally to Canada.
Local slaveholders sought swift and stern justice for anyone who assisted the “Dover Eight.” The Reverend Samuel Green was arrested and jailed on suspicion of aiding the group’s escape. Ben Ross nearly experienced the same fate, but Tubman rescued him just in time. Two of the eight escapees temporarily joined John Brown’s small army in Canada before the raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Bestpitch Ferry Road
Bucktown, MD 21613
GPS Coordinates: 38.451665,-76.030015
- No public access