1877 map of Dorchester County; Bucktown District; note presence of “D. Hughes,” father of Rev. Enoch Hughes


An Illustrated Atlas of Talbot & Dorchester Counties, Maryland. Compiled, Drawn and Published from Actual Surveys of Lake, Griffing and Stevenson. 1877


1877 map of Somerset County, Potatoe Neck District; Fairmount, community of Frederick Douglass godson Henry Augustus Monroe

Due assistance from the superb reference librarians at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University we have been able to confirm the general whereabouts of the Wilson family (families) in the Potatoe Neck area of Somerset County’s Fairmount community.

An 1877 cartographic survey of Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties and communities yields clues more than a century later to understand the lost history of a drummer boy of the Massachusetts 54th Infantry (US Colored Troops) being deployed to the southernmost county of Maryland’s Lower Shore by his Godfather Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass where he would marry into a local family before yet twenty years old.

According to the 1870 census Henry August Monroe is living in the Potatoe Neck, the southernmost green area on the below map.

A review of the 1877 map of Fairmount reflects a clustering of “Wilsons” in an area west of “Upper Freetown.”

In late 1868 Christiana A. Wilson of Fairmount, Maryland wed the educator and Civil War veteran Henry Augustus Monroe of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Reportedly the Wilson family of Fairmount was prominent in the oyster trade and leaders in local religious and political affairs.

Points of Interest:

William Wilson House

Historic Churches of Somerset County; Somerset: An Architectural History (1990)

Centennial United Methodist Church (razed)

Upper Fairmount School

Upper Fairmount Historic District

Mt. Zion Memorial Church (Princess Anne)


The 1877 Atlases and other Early Maps of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Bicentennial Edition, 1776 – 1976. Wicomico Bicentennial Commission. Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture collection.