Rockville’s Underground Railroad

Parishioner Ann Maria Weems disguised as a boy to avoid detection during her escape on the Underground Railroad.

Parishioner Ann Maria Weems disguised as a boy to avoid detection during her escape on the Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad—a secret network of volunteers who transported, concealed, fed, and clothed fleeing slaves—helped countless numbers of freedom-seekers make their way north. From the early 1800s to the Civil War, Maryland played a leading role in this movement with Montgomery County as an active hub and Rockville serving as a station.

On Saturday, October 5, historian Anthony Cohen will lead a two-hour walking tour in and around Rockville to explore the surprising places, events, and people connected to the Underground Railroad. You’ll discover how Josiah Henson, Alfred Homer, and Ann Maria Weems made history and imagine what life for a slave was like in Rockville at places such as St. Mary’s Chapel and Robb’s Tavern.

Anthony Cohen, who is a fourth generation descendant of a runaway slave, retraced the 1,000 mile route of the Underground Railroad from Maryland to Canada. He traveled through five states by foot, boat and rail like thousands of fugitives before him including a six-hour trip inside a wooden crate, smuggled onto a train like Henry “Box” Brown, a fugitive who mailed himself to freedom in 1849.

The tour starts at 10 am in front of the Red Brick Courthouse, 29 Courthouse Square, Rockville. Cost is $7 Peerless members/$10 non-members. To reserve your space, please call 301-762-0096 or email info@peerlessrockville.org.

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