Star Democrat: “Carney celebrated with historic marker in Denton” (May 4, 2022)

DENTON — A new historic marker, commemorating African American Revolutionary War hero Thomas Carney, was unveiled in front of the Caroline County Circuit Courthouse in Denton on April 30. A crowd of local politicians, distant family members, Daughters of the American Revolution and the local chapter of the NAACP gathered in folding chairs on a sunny morning for the occasion. Carney served in the Continental Army, was a survivor of Valley Forge and fought in nine battles from Pennsylvania to South Caroline. During the Siege of Fort Ninety-Six, Carney saved General Perry Benson of Talbot County in battle and they became lifelong friends.

“The fact that Denton is recognizing Mr. Carney is important and the tenacity of Mrs. (Helen “Betty”) Seymour for finding this information. She chased it for five or six years,” said Fred Minus, who was dressed head to toe in Revolutionary War garb.

Historian and DAR member, Seymour was the unnamed star of the day.

“The most exciting day was the day I found out where he lived. I was in Annapolis and I asked for the papers. There was a bill for his rent. That is how we know where he lived and who he was paying rent to. It was on Adams Landing Road,” Seymour said. “Cheryl Smith was a big help to me. I enjoyed the search. This unveiling is long overdue.”

Her research friend Smith also is in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“Our chapter is dedicated to General Perry Benson, and Thomas Carney saved his life. There usually isn’t a lot of information about a black man from that period, but if you look it up, there is an amazing obituary about Thomas Carney. A real hero, but nobody knows where he is buried,” Smith said.

Reisha Rainey, the first Daughters of the American Revolution member who is an African American, is also a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson.

She said, “I am excited the community is here and there will be a standing monument for the contribution of an African American soldier who contributed to the founding of the independence of America. I love the ladies. The sisterhood of the organization is great.”

The memorial stayed cloaked as senators and delegates gave citations. The large Carney contingent mixed with the NAACP members There weren’t enough chairs to hold all the people interested in being a part of the event.

Caroline County Commission President Larry Porter said, “You get a phone call and say, ‘how are we going to pull this off?’ There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. Our staff and people who put the pole up, Parks and Rec, Mark Lasocha was out here, making sure everything looks good.”

There were many speeches.

“Thomas Carney deserves honor and recognition for his sacrifice and contribution to the war for independence. Congratulations to the General Perry Benson chapter of the DAR with the NAACP Caroline County Branch on this historical celebration of Denton’s unsung hero,” Maryland State Society DAR Vice Regent Elizabeth Deerin.

Del. Johnny Mautz and Sen. Addie Eckardt gave citations to the Caroline County Branch of the NAACP, Seymour and to the General Harry Benson Chapter NSDAR.

Deerin recalled some of Carney’s story: At the battle of Camden, Carney was described with unshakable courage and credited with participating three bayonet charges. At another battle Carney boasted of killing seven men with his bayonet. It was the battle of Fort Ninety-Six that Carney served with Captain Benson. Benson got a severe wound to his arm. Mr. Carney carried Benson and, reaching the doctors, fainted from shear exhaustion. Carney stayed with Benson while he got his medical attention. Benson became a General and helped Carney to get a pension from the State of Maryland and the federal government and helped him lease 50 acres of farmland in Denton. Carney died in 1820 at 74.

“We place a marker here today on this courthouse green as a tribute to his life for his service in both wars to ensure the United States remained free for the centuries to come. Mr. Carney we salute you,” said Deerin.

Dr. Willie Woods, president of Caroline County Branch of the NAACP, said, “I am pleased to say there was 100% agreement that the NAACP should proceed with this collaboration for the installation and unveiling of this historic marker. The marker aligns with our mission to ensure freedom, justice and equality of rights for all persons. After saving Captain Benson, it resulted in a lifelong friendship revealing an inspiring example of racial harmony, unity and mutual respect. We also want to thank Mrs. Seymour for her research and persistence. Remembering African American roles have often been overlooked or not recognized. This marker will memorialize Mr. Carney for generations to come.”

With the help of two people and a walker, Seymour made it to the podium.

“I did see an ad in a magazine for an exhibit down in Virginia. So with my husband in tow, we went down to Virginia and visited the museum. We met the curator at the exhibit. And then to Annapolis, we looked up the loose papers and his obituary. We looked over these papers and in it we found this paper which is a copy of his of his rent bill, which clarified what we had been thinking all along,” said Seymour.

Like a sleuth sifting through dusty old papers she found evidence of Carney living in Caroline County. Part of the sleuthing was also finding any descendants of Carney’s. They found some Carneys outside of Philadelphia whose grandfather had been in the Civil War. Seymour teamed up with J.O.K. Walsh, who is president of the Caroline County Historical Society, to track them down.

Relative Wayne Carney said, “Jerry Seiler, Betty Seymour, J.O.K. Walsh — people I have been talking to — made this day possible to bring the story of Thomas Carney to life. So, I thank them.”

The DAR ladies removed the black cloth to reveal the marker. Everyone cheered heartily, and Denton has another interesting reason for visitors to check out downtown. Carney is remembered in formal fashion.

With that all available parties lined up for two separate group pictures. One with the NAACP and the Carney family and the other with the Daughters of the American Revolution.

STAR DEMOCRAT: Carney celebrated with historic marker in Denton


Lost history note on Bishop Wayman’s mother Matilda Wayman, Anna Murray Douglass, Caroline County, Loadman Shields and the fugitive slave case of “Priss”

1850 United States Census, Caroline County (Maryland); NARA Series M432, Roll 288. “Francis Wayman;”

In closely reviewing the field research and historic notes meticulously maintained by Choptank Heritage on Bishop Alexander Walker Wayman (1821 – 1895) I wondered about the extant record of his mother, Matilda Wayman (b. ca. 1797 – 1872).

In recent years an industry of mythomanes have suggested more research need be done, and therefore a fuller recognition occur concerning the consequential life and times of Anna Murray Douglass (1813 – 1882). Little original research has been forthcoming and therefore no fuller historic recognition has occurred in recent years other than repeated sentiment of incomplete myth.

Simply put, there is work to be done and too few workers.

According to Bishop Wayman’s 1881 Recollections, his mother, Matilda, was friendly with Anna Murray and entrusted the future Mrs. Frederick Douglass to watch her children, including the future 7th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Miss Anna Murray, now Mrs. Frederick Douglass, came and kept house for my mother while she was attending this camp-meeting.

My Recollections of African M. E. Ministers, or Forty Years’ Experience in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1881)

Whereas Alexander’s older brother, Charles Henry, was born enslaved in 1812, and Alexander was born free in 1821, we can deduce that their mother, Matilda, attained her freedom sometime between 1812 and 1821.

Reportedly, Matilda and her husband, Francis Wayman, born enslaved in ca. 1787, were both free and well-known within the community, frequently hosting and lodging Black Methodist preachers visiting Caroline County and the region, in the 1820s and 1830s.

Living within the area at this time were the parents and family of Anna Murray. According to Rosetta Douglass Sprague daughter (1839 – 1906), her mother:

… was born in Denton, Caroline County, Maryland, an adjoining county to that in which my father was born. The exact date of her birth is not known. Her parents, Bambarra Murray and Mary, his wife, were slaves, their family consisting, of twelve children, seven of whom were born in slavery and five born in freedom. My mother, the eighth child, escaped by the short period of one month, the fate of her older brothers and sisters, and was the first free child.

My Mother as I Recall Her

Most historians have dated Anna’s birth year to around 1813, around the time of the birth of Bishop Wayman’s older brother Charles Henry, born enslaved in March 1812.

Therefore, within Caroline County around 1812 – 1813, Anna’s mother, Mary, had obtained her freedom whereas freedom had yet to be obtained by Bishop Wayman’s mother, Matilda.

Other than Choptank Heritage’s editor, family genealogists (family historians) of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a visiting academician who has since gone home, we are unaware of any ongoing public work to discuss these close associations, connections and affiliations between and within the families of the Waymans, Murrays and Baileys, as well as other prominent descendant families.

Why does this matter, you may be asking? It matters because untold public treasury is expended every year to continue to repeat a flat, limited and mythologized history. It matters because school children ask to be taught local history and in return are not told.

His color was black, his voice commanding, deep. | Choptank River Heritage

Although it has now become vogue to ponder the history of Anna Murray and her family – and her community – the detective work has yet to be done, although organizations and staff exist locally, regionally, statewide and nationally to do so. Grants and public monies abound but the history continues to be lost and unrecognized.

How did Anna Murray’s parents obtain their freedom? How did Bishop Wayman’s parents obtain their freedom? From whom did they obtain their freedom? What were the circumstances and/or conditions of their freedom? Do records exist that can answer and/or confirm these questions? Where may these records be? Has anyone ever looked for these records?

These questions led us to a brief obituary for Matilda Wayman circulated in newspapers within communities of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

March 1872. Library of Congress.

According to the obituary, Matilda Wayman had been enslaved to Loadman Shields, who shows up in records within Talbot and Caroline County. A rudimentary search of familiar databases and archives did not reveal substantial information about Shields and his connections to Matilda Wayman.

However, an interesting 1836 newspaper clip from the Public Ledger (Philadelphia) surfaced with mention of Loadman Shields of Caroline County.

According to the report, a “negro women named Priscilla was arrested as a fugitive slave,” and brought before Judge Randall in the Court of Common Pleas.

A deposed witness from Caroline County confirmed that Priscilla was “the slave of Loadman Shields, who now claimed her.” The witness testified to have known the young woman, believed to be in her early 20s, since she was “six or seven years old.”

Reportedly, Shields had hired out Priscilla. Another witness testified to have known Priscilla’s mother, Tilly, who “was also Mr. Shield’s slave.”

Fugitive Slave Case -
“Important Decision of a Slave Case.” September 22, 1836. Public Ledger (Philadelphia), p. 1

An 1816 deed of manumission was admitted to the court “by which Loadman Shields manumitted Tilly, the mother, to be free when she was 30 years old, (she being then 23,) and also manumitted ‘negro girl Priss,’ the present prisoner, ‘aged three years the 1st of December, 1816, to be free when she arrived to the age of 30 years.” Shields sought the court to return the young woman to Caroline County and his service until December 1, 1843, when she would therefore be 30 years old.

Apparently, the young woman “had been claimed on a former occasion” and was subsequently discharged from arrest.

In her second case future Philadelphia mayor Charles Gilpin (1809 – 1891), represented Priscilla arguing that she had been properly previously dismissed thus “it was not lawful to sue a claim for which had already been decided.”

Future Congressman Henry Meyer Phillips (1811 – 1884) represented Shields arguing the Constitutional property rights of slaveowners to “show property and title” and duly “have the fugitive reprimanded.”

Just months before the 1837 incident which would eventually result in the 1843 ruling of the US Supreme Court in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, the court delivered a decision in which “the case was compromised.”

How did Priscilla make her way from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Philadelphia? Who assisted her? What route did she take? From whom and/or where did she escape from the Shore to Philadelphia? What happened to Priscilla?

Further information on “Priscilla,” Loadman Shields, comparable fugitive slave cases originating from Caroline County and the impact of this case – or lack thereof – in Maryland and Pennsylvania case law has not yet been sought but there is a $400,000 grant currently dedicated to “mapping” this respective lost history.

Whereas Frederick Bailey’s family members who fled have been focus of scholastic attention and public recognition a more comprehensive examination of the community of Eastern Shore freedom seekers and their families, methodologies, associates and destinations has yet been undertaken.

Despite development of helpful databases the public history is still presented as largely an ephemeral myth which does not instruct the modern scholar and classroom student.

The Lost History of John Thomas Evans (James Williams) of Elk Landing in Elkton, Cecil County; “Fugitive Slave in the Gold Rush”

Fugitive Slave in the Gold Rush: Life and Adventures of James Williams  (Blacks in the American West): Williams, James, Rohrbough, Malcolm J.:  9780803298125: Books

In the fall of 2019 I was surveying sources at the Maryland State Archives Hall of Records in Annapolis when I observed Prof. Ezra Greenspan at work on research on the records of Aaron Anthony, and his son John P. Anthony, as concerns Stephen Henry Bailey (1820 – 1894, USCT) 1st cousin to Frederick Bailey Douglass, and Perry Bailey (1814 – 1880), older brother to Frederick Bailey Douglass.

As Prof. Greenspan reviewed records of the Lloyd family, I remarked that the state of Maryland tells a lifeless and incomplete nursery rhyme story of the vastness and intricacy of its antebellum history of the Underground Railroad and Reconstruction with its repetitive rhetoric on Douglass, Tubman and others who have appeared on the covers of state publications for decades. 

Specifically, I mentioned there should be a publication or effort to identify within the various regions of Maryland those that left the state to make significant and consequential contributions elsewhere, such as the AME ministers from Maryland that founded the AME church in the state of Florida.

In response to my riff, Greenspan remarked it was a measurable and significant step forward in his lifetime for Maryland, as well as the overall country, to begin to recognize Douglass and Tubman prominently with statues and artifices of state propaganda.

I can accept Prof. Greenspan’s observations for what it’s worth. As an elder, he has seen a slow acceptance and inclusion of Douglass and Tubman in our larger historical narrative. Yet as 2020 finally fades there is an imperative to uplift and advance the lost history once and forever or let us be damned in historical ignorance and apathy forever.

For example, the existing Network to Freedom infrastructure within the state of Maryland which includes 80 / 85 or so sites (many being unrelated to the UGRR such as the Howard County Historical Society’s location at the Miller Branch of the Howard County Library) is incredibly incomplete and inconsistent. 

Lost History Associates has 50 stories that remain untold, with another 50 after that, and yet again another 50 stories, tales, narratives and histories the WGM and the apathetic state historical / tourism industrial complex could not care less about. 

Therefore … we give you a lost history on the house. 

Raise your lighters up in the midnight hour for the lost history. 

I, JOHN THOMAS, was born in Elkton, Cecil county, Maryland, April 1st, A. D. 1825, in the house of my master, William Hollingsworth, being born a slave. I remained with him until I was thirteen years of age, when I took one of his blooded mares and made my escape.

Whilst riding, I met a number of men, one of whom said to me: “Little boy, where are you going?” “I am going to Mr. Cuche’s mill.”

“Who do you belong to?” “I belong to Mr. William Hollingsworth.”

I, at the time, had on two pairs of pants, with leather suspenders over my coat. A man asked me, “Why do you wear your suspenders over your coat?” “These are my overalls, to keep my pants clean.”

Ere I arrived at Mr. Cuche’s mill, I met a little boy. I said to him, “Little boy, what is the name of the next town beyond Mr. Cuche’s mill?”

He told me, “New London Cross Roads.”

Ere I arrived there I met a white man. He accosted me thus: “Boy, who do you belong to?” I told him that I belonged to Mr. William Hollingsworth.

“Where are you going to now?” “I am going to New London.”

At New London I met a school-boy. I asked him, “Where is the line that divides Maryland from Pennsylvania?” He said, “New London is the line.” I asked him, “What is the name of the next town?” He said, “Eaton Town.”

On my way I met another man; he said to me, “Where are you going?” I answered, “To Eaton Town.”

He said, “Where are you from?” I said, “Cuche’s Mill.” He asked me if I belonged to Mr. Cuche? I said, “Yes.”

On my way I met two more men. They asked the same questions. I answered as before.

When I arrived at Eaton Town I asked a little boy what the name of the next town was. He said, “Russelville.”

As I went I saw a colored man cutting wood in the woods. I asked him, “What was the name of the next town?”

He said, “Russelville.” I asked him if any colored families lived there? He said, “Yes; Uncle Sammy Glasgow.” He advised me to stop there. He asked me where I belonged. I said, “In New London Cross Roads.” And for fear that he would ask to whom I belonged, I whipped up my house and went my way.

I was then a few miles in Pennsylvania, and I felt that I was a free boy and in a free State. I met a man, and he asked me where I was going? I said “Russelville, to Uncle Sammy Glasgow.”

He asked me if I was a free boy. I said, “Yes.” He said “You look more like one of those little runaway niggers than anything else that I know of.” I said, “Well, if you think I am a runaway, you had better stop me, but I think you will soon let me go.”

I then went to Russelville, and asked for Sammy Glasgow, and a noble old gentleman came to the door, and I asked him if he could tell me the way to Somerset, and he pointed out the way. I asked him if he knew any colored families there.

He said, “Yes.” He told me of one William Jourden, the first house that I came to, on my left hand. This Jourden was my stepfather; he married my mother, who had runaway years before, and the way that I knew where she lived was through a man by the name of Jim Ham, who was driving a team in Lancaster City, whose home was in Elkton.

He came home on a visit, and was talking to one of the slave women one night; he sat with his arm around her, I, a little boy, sitting in the chimney corner asleep, as they thought, but with one eye open and alistening.

He whispered to her, saying, “I saw that boy’s mother.” She said, “Did you? Where?”

He said, “In Somerset; she is married and doing well; she married a man by the name of William Jourden.” When I arrived at my mother’s house, I met my stepfather in the yard cutting wood, and I asked him if Mrs. Jourden was at home? He said, “Yes;” and asked me in.

I went in and sat down by the door. My mother asked me my name. I answered, “James Williams.” She said. “Come to the fire and warm yourself!” I said, “No; that I was not cold.” After sitting there awhile, I asked her if she had any children.

 William Hollingsworth
William Hollingsworth (1780 – 1844) is buried in Elkton.

She said, “Yes;” and named one boy that belonged to William Hollingsworth, in Elkton.

I asked if she had any more. She named my sister that belonged to Thomas Moore, of Elkton, Vic, that had run away and was betrayed by a colored man, for the sum of one hundred dollars.

I had a brother that went with my mother when she run away from Maryland. She did not say anything about him, but spoke of John Thomas. I asked her if she would know him if she saw him.

She said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you sure that you would know him?” She answered, “Yes; don’t you think I would know my own child?” And becoming somewhat excited, she told me that I had a great deal of impudence; and her loud tone brought her husband in, and he suspicioned me of being a spy for the kidnappers.

He came with a stick and stood by the door, when an old lady, by the name of Hannah Brown, exclaimed: “Aunt Abby, don’t you know your own child? Bless God, that is him.”

Then my mother came and greeted me, and my father also. My mother cried, “My God, my son, what are you doing here?” I said, “that I had given leg-bail for security.” My father took the horse and hid it in the fodder stack. That night, one William Smith; who was a good old minister, went back on the road, about six miles, with the horse, and put her on the straight road, and started her for home; but the bridle he cut up and threw into a mill race. I was told that on the morning of the second day the horse stood at her master’s gate.

To show the reader how my mother got free, I shall have to digress a little.

She was sold by Tom Moore to Mr. Hollingsworth, for a term of two years, for the sum of one hundred dollars, and at the expiration of that time, she was to go back to Tom Moore’s.

One morning Mr. Hollingsworth said, “Abby, it is hard enough to serve two masters, and worse to serve three. You have got three months to serve me yet, but, here is twenty-five dollars; I won’t tell you to run away. You can do as you like.” He told my uncle Frisby to take the horse and cart and carry her as far as a brook, called Dogwood Run, on the way to Pennsylvania.

By these means my mother got her freedom, which shows that Hollings-worth had a Christian spirit, though a slaveholder. I stayed one night at my mother’s, and in the morning I was taken on the underground railroad, and they carried me to one Asa Walton, who lived at Penningtonville, Pennsylvania, and he took me on one of his fastest horses and carried me to one Daniel Givens, a good old abolitionist, who lived near Lancaster City; and I travelled onward from one to another, on the underground railroad, until I got to a place of refuge.

This way of travel was called the Underground Railroad.

At the age of sixteen I commenced my labors with the underground road. The way that we used to conduct the business was this: a white man would carry a certain number of slaves for a certain amount, and if they did not all have money, then those that had had to raise the sum that was required.

“RUNAWAY.” The Cecil Whig, 02 Aug, 1856, page 2.

We used to communicate with each other in this wise: one of us would go to the slaves and find out how many wanted to go, and then we would inform the party who was to take them, and some favorable night they would meet us out in the woods; we would then blow a whistle, and the man in waiting would answer “all right;” he would then take his load and travel by night, until he got into a free State.

Then I have taken a covered wagon, with as many as fourteen in, and if I met any one that asked me where I was going, I told them that I was going to market. I became so daring, that I went within twenty miles of Elkton. At one time the kidnappers were within one mile of me; I turned the corner of a house, and went into some bushes, and that was the last they saw of me.

The way we abolitionists had of doing our business was called the underground railroad.


Elk Landing – Find Your Chesapeake

Bishop Wayman never lost touch with the Tuckahoe and Denton, Maryland (a brief note)

Bishop Alexander Walker Wayman of the AME Church with members of ...

Inside the sanctuary of Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, near the corner of 5th & Lincoln Street in Old Denton, Maryland, is a framed portrait of indigenous Caroline Countian Bishop Alexander Walker Wayman.

On Saturdays present-day members of the Wayman family can be found fixing vehicles and lawn mowers in backyards around the corner from the church while on Sundays the pews fill with Wayman descendants, as well as other surnames whose families have made contributions to Caroline County since its founding more than two hundred years ago.

Bishop Wayman, and his immediate and extended family, were close friends with not just the family of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and Anna Murray Douglass, but members of the larger and extended Bailey family throughout the Eastern Shore and Baltimore City.

As we can determine, an accounting of the history of Bishop Wayman has not yet been rendered in modern times. In the past twenty years monographs of the establishment and growth of the AME Church in the American South have given new insights into the range of Wayman’s travels and his lasting legacy.


To wit, any telling of the local, statewide, regional and national history and contributions of Bishop Wayman must tell it properly.

That proper telling is that, as with his dear friend Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, as Bishop Wayman rose in notoriety and influence, counting presidents of countries and presidents of universities among his friends, he never lost touch with the Tuckahoe.

Just a year before he passed, in 1894 Bishop Wayman delivered eulogy for his friend, Civil War veteran and local school board member, Stephen Henry Bailey in Denton.

The next year, Wayman delivered a eulogy for Stephen’s first-cousin Frederick in Washington City at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, around the corner from the White House.

We share a brief article from the Baltimore Sun in July 1882 showing the movements of Bishop Wayman on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay. A little more than a year later Frederick Douglass would speak in Denton on the court house lawn. Part of the local welcoming committee to greet Douglass upon arrival in Denton was his cousin Stephen, as well as members of the Wayman and Murray families.



Muller, John. Lost History of Frederick (Bailey) Douglass on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “Bishop Wayman never lost touch with the Tuckahoe and Denton, Maryland (a brief note).” 22 April, 2020.

Copyright strictly enforced with full force of the law.

“Following the footsteps of Frederick Douglass” (Times-Record, March 4, 2020; Caroline County, Maryland)

Following the footsteps of Frederick Douglass
Author and expert on the life of Frederick Douglass, John Muller, speaks to students at Lockerman Middle School.

DENTON — “If you’ve been on Market Street in Denton, you’ve been following Douglass’ footsteps, the same places he walked as a young man,”author of Frederick Douglass in D.C.: Lion of Anacostia and renowned historian John Muller told the students he visited last week at Lockerman Middle School. Muller has spent years of his life tracing and chronicling the the details of Douglass’ life.

Bringing history to life for middle school students is not an easy task, but Muller engaged and pulled the students into Douglass’ life drawing lines from the past to the present – tracing family lines —Anthonys, Baileys, Downes, Greens, Groces, Murrays, Rosses, and Waymans and several others who have been connected across centuries from the 1700s until today in Caroline County.

Muller knows not only the past, but how it is tied now to the present. Through his interactive presentation, students read excerpts from Douglass’ autobiography. “It was very special to witness the young lady with the surname “Murray” read and share with her classmates the local history of Anna Murray Douglass,” said Muller, “It was a powerful moment for me.”

Douglass’ wife Anna born in Denton to slaves Bambarra Murray and Mary, was born the first free child of the family. She would be instrumental in helping Douglass escape his slavery and find passage to freedom.

Muller led the students through Douglass’ early years — “I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot county, Maryland,” wrote Douglass, “My first experience of life, as I now remember it, and I remember it but hazily, began in the family of my grandmother and grandfather, Betsey and Isaac Bailey.”

Douglass (born Frederick Bailey) in his autobiography, recalls his grandmother, “She was a good nurse, and a capital hand at making nets for catching shad and herring; and these nets were in great demand, not only in Tuckahoe, but at Denton and Hillsboro, neighboring villages.”

Fishing — a recreational past time for many students — is another connection Muller drew upon, and it was moving to listen to Muller guiding these young students through the very places their ancestors were before them.

“I know next time I present to ask everyone what fish they catch in the Choptank when sharing Frederick Douglass’ grandmother fished in the same waters,” Muller quipped after his lecture.

Muller encouraged students to not only walk physically in the footsteps of Douglass, but also to follow his lead in other areas. Douglass, who left the shore to gain his freedom, traveled not only to New York and D.C. but also abroad. Challenging himself to learn more.

Not only was he a leader and innovator, but a supporter of his fellow man, noted Muller, speaking to churches, helping to establish schools, and working alongside abolitionists to better educate and provide opportunity for men of color.

He was well respected, but never let it go to his head; and was often written and asked for support, but never looked down on people who asked for his help, rather he treated them equally. His speaking engagements sold out – and Douglass made several appearances back on the shore after he left for D.C., Muller told the students.

“The announcement that Fred. Douglass, the noted colored man, would appear in the Republican meeting in Denton last Wednesday, drew a very large crowd of people. Three-fourths of the colored voters of the county were on hand, and they became much enthused by Fred’s speech and a brass band. Three hundred white people, men, women, and children, were also out to see and hear the celebrated colored man.” Denton Journal, November 3, 1883 (p. 3).

While it can be said Douglass used this “fame” to help people,“For those of you become famous, don’t forget I told you this,” said Muller, “follow the footsteps of Douglass and do good.”


George Washington diary entry; 14 August 1769

Charles Willson Peale, American - Portrait of John and Elizabeth Lloyd Cadwalader and their Daughter Anne - Google Art Project.jpg
Elizabeth Lloyd, sister to Edward Lloyd IV, who built the present-day Wye House in Talbot County.

14. Colo. Loyd, Mr. Cadwallader & Lady, Mrs. Dalton & Daughter & Miss Terrett dind with us.


Col. Edward Lloyd III (1711-1770) was of a prominent Maryland family and one of a long line of Edward Lloyds of Wye House, Talbot County, Md. He was married in 1739 to Anne Rousby of Patuxent, Md. He had been a member of the Maryland General Assembly, a member of the council, and receiver general of the province. He was in ill health at the time of this visit and died a few months later. His daughter Elizabeth had been married the previous year to John Cadwalader (1742–1786), of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Dalton is the wife of Capt. John Dalton of Alexandria and the daughter of Thomas Shaw (d. 1777). Miss Terret is probably a daughter of William Henry Terret (d. 1758), of Fairfax County, an original member of the Fairfax County court in 1742 and clerk of the Truro Parish vestry 1745–55.


“[Diary entry: 14 August 1769],” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed September 29, 2019,

[Original source: The Diaries of George Washington, vol. 2, 14 January 1766 – 31 December 1770, ed. Donald Jackson. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976, p. 175.]



Thomas Corwin,between 1844 and 1860.jpg

When Tom Corwin was in Congress from the Warren county district, he used to be disturbed very much by hearing so much boasting and bragging from State of Maryland members, of the wonderful greatness of the eastern shore of Maryland.

Other members of Congress were bored as well as Corwin, by the eastern shore fellows continually harping upon their great eastern shore, and their great constituency — their great people !

One day an eastern shore member was speaking on some measure, and Tom declared to some of his fellow-members in his place, if that Maryland chap again said anything about his eastern shore, he would reply to it. This was, sub rosa, noised about among members, and those in the conspiracy waited for an eulogium upon the eastern shore.

Sure enough, the orator, in due time, came to the “eastern shore,” and, among other things he proclaimed :

“Look at the great State of Maryland, look at the eastem shore of Maryland from whence I come ! Why, it is the garden spot of creation, and its people are the chosen ones of mankind. It is a great country, a blessed country, a God-gifted land !”

And the orator soon sat down after all that, and Tom Corwin arose in his place, with his fellow-members around him, all expectant, but not knowing what was to come.

Among other things, orated eloquent Tom :

“The gentleman from Maryland speaks most eloquently and opportunely, of his great State, and pronounces the eastern shore of that great State, ‘ the garden spot of creation, and its people a blessed people.’

In reference to this, I have a fact to relate, if I can command sufficient attention.”

Everybody in the House was now full of attention.

“Mr. Speaker, I am a lawyer, and I had a case in court one day, in my town of Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio.

It was a case of much importance, and my success in it depended upon the evidence of an aged, venerable, white-headed witness, near four-score years ; and I called him to the witness stand, and he gave his most important testimony, and my case, I thought, was won. But the lawyer on the other side commenced to cross-examine the witness, to break him down, if possible, on account of his extreme old age and necessary want of memory, and says he to the witness, ‘ My aged friend, how old might you be?’

The old, white-headed witness looked around at the court and at the jury and at me and then, at last, at the cross-examining attorney, and he answered, ‘I am just forty-two years of age, next month!”

This was an astonisher, an amazer. I was amazed, and felt that my witness would certainly be completely broken down for lunacy. All in court were surprised.

The cross-examiner continued, ‘ only forty-two years of age ! why, old man, you look to be at least eighty years of age.’

” ‘Well,’ said the witness, ‘ I will tell you how that is : the first part of my life I spent on the eastern shore of the State of Maryland. I was born there, — on the eastern shore ! and I lived around, and lost there thirty-eight years, and under the good God I have always thought that in estimating and numbering my years.

He would not take account of the years gone and lost, on that God-forsaken eastern shore of Maryland, and therefore, I am forty -two years of age!

This was enough — quite enough — and the Maryland harp of a thousand strings never sounded more “My Maryland ” or the ” Eastern shore of Maryland,‘” in the halls of Congress ! Never !


The Old Court House: Reminiscences and Anecdotes of the Courts and Bar of Cincinnati (1880)


Corwin served in the United States House of Representatives representing the “Warren County district (Ohio)” in 1821 – 1823 and 1829 – 1830.

During this period Maryland Congressmen from the Eastern Shore included Thomas Bayly, John Leeds Kerr, George Edward Mitchell, John S. Spence, Richard Spencer, Ephraim King Wilson, and Robert Wright.

“It is a long way from the cornfields of Maryland to Dr. Sunderland’s church in Washington.” Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass

Maryland cornfield; Howard family cemetery in foreground

Mr. Douglass always insisted that we must not be measured by the heights to which we have attained, but rather by the depths from which we have come. These depths were lower than those from which Garfield came – and he drove a canal boat; or from which Grant came – and he was a tanner; or Lincoln – and he was a rail-splitter.

Douglass came from depths far beneath any of these, for he was a slave, and had to go further to reach their starting point than either of them went in the entirety journey of their triumphs. Wisely and philosophically did he remark, immediately after the war closed, at a great meeting held in Dr. Sunderland‘s church, “It is a long way from the cornfields of Maryland to Dr. Sunderland’s church in Washington.”


John C Dancy 1902.jpg

“Eulogy by Hon. John C. Dancy“, p. 89.

Thompson, J.W. An Authentic History of the Douglass Monument. Biographical Facts and Incidents in the Life of Frederick Douglass. His Death at Anacostia, D.C. And Funeral at Washington, D.C. And Rochester, N.Y., Together With Portraits and Illustrations of Important Incidents of the Four Years’ Struggle to Complete the Work. Rochester, N.Y., Rochester Herald Press, 1903.