Category Archives: People

Setting Sail from Denton

Stand in the Place: The Age of Sail returns to Denton and the upper Choptank River

Sailing the Choptank was never easy. Even so, schooners, bugeyes, pungies, and skipjacks tied up at Denton from the 1700s till the 1930s.

Now you too can sail with us from Denton down the Choptank to Kings Town on a blustery summer day.

See the full story >>>

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by Robert Durwood Madison

In observance of Black History Month, we’re publishing Tuckahoe, a cycle of poems which beckon us to learn more about Frederick Douglass’s life and times – and to Stand in the Place.

Robert Madison wrote:

“By chance, in 1996 I moved to the northeast corner of Talbot County just as I was working on a production of my play about Frederick Douglass and John Brown, Prospect for Freedom. When I learned that Douglass was born only two miles away, I began a cycle of poems that looked at the county (and beyond) through his eyes as well as my own.

“Naturally, I have depended heavily on Douglass’s three autobiographies, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881), and on Dickson Preston’s Young Frederick Douglass: The Maryland Years. “


(c) 1996 Robert Durwood Madison
Published here with permission of the author.

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Where the Dead Rise Up

Check out our new Story Map:

click and go
Stand in the Place
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Haunted by the Heroes of 1776

Caroline County sent six regimental, militia, and staff colonels to war against British imperial troops during 1776-1783:

  • Col. Peter Adams
  • Col. Matthew Driver
  • Col. Philip Feddiman
  • Col. Benson Stainton
  • Col. William Richardson
  • Col. William Whiteley

Altogether, they fought at Harlem Heights, Camden, and Yorktown, and on fields of battle in between.  They tracked down spies, safeguarded the national treasury, tried deserters, and put down rebellion back home. They conferred with General Washington and urged Maryland’s governor to send more recruits and supplies to the front.

We know where they fought. But we know nearly nothing about the civilian life and final resting place of most of them –  Adams, Feddiman, Driver, and Stainton.

The tombs of Richardson and Whiteley are in forgotten places. The rest are lost.

The Tomb of Colonel William Whiteley

Col. Whiteley’s remains lie in the Whiteley family cemetery near Whiteleysburg. The Whiteley mansion is gone. The burial ground now lies isolated in a large farm field.

[Credit to Gale P. Nashold of Greensboro for locating and documenting this site.] 

GPS Destination

The Tomb of Colonel William Richardson

Col. Richardson’s tomb is located on a plot of publicly-owned land at Gilpin Point, where the Tuckahoe flows into the Choptank.   There is a decades-old, rusted marker miles away on MD 16.

By the 1920s, Richardson’s tomb was reportedly “crumbling”, and the manor house at Gilpin Point was already gone.  The Caroline Historical Society added brick work and the existing memorial plaque apparently after that time.  Today, the parcel is owned by Caroline County and is maintained as a public river access site.

Stand in the Place

The map below shows you the way.

Share what you know.  Leave a comment or email me.



Don Barker

GPS Destination

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The Bicentennial Search for Frederick Douglass’s Birthplace

We updated our map app that shows clues in the Search for Frederick Douglass’s Birthplace.  See the full-size app here.

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Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Park and Birthplace

An open letter to the Editor, Times-Record

Mr. Polk,

​I  would like to point out a couple of inaccurate ideas about Frederick Douglass’s birthplace which are presented in your article, Douglass Park opens on bicentennial, in the Times-Record, February 21.

Continue reading Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Park and Birthplace

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How Old Black Churches Die

See the new St. Paul AME Story Map, Where the Dead Rise Up

I was scanning aerial photography of Caroline County and saw this striking image in the landscape – above-ground crypts in a church graveyard:

The 1897 map shows this was the site of St Paul African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church: Continue reading How Old Black Churches Die

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The black blacksmith with a bellowy laugh

In West Denton … there were two blacksmith Shops serving the farmers and residents of the area. One was operated by a Negro named Walter Moore …  I doubt if any kingdom ever fell because Walter’s nails came loose.

Continue reading The black blacksmith with a bellowy laugh

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The true reason why Frederick Douglass gave his heart to Anna Murray

Rosetta Douglass Sprague wrote in the memoir about her mother, Anna Murray Douglass, that young Frederick Bailey “gave his heart” to Anna Murray, and she “sympathized with him and she devoted all her energies to assist him” to escape slavery in Baltimore.

Why Anna Murray?

Because she was the girl from down home in Tuckahoe Neck.

Continue reading The true reason why Frederick Douglass gave his heart to Anna Murray

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First woman President of NAACP got her start in Denton

The first woman president of the NAACP, Dr. Enolia P. McMillan, started her professional career as a teacher in Caroline County in 1927, when she taught at the Denton segregated black high school.

The following year, she served as a school principal in Charles County.  She moved on to Columbia University, where she obtained her master’s degree in education in 1933.  Her master’s thesis, Some Factors Affecting Secondary Education for Negroes in Maryland Counties (Excluding Baltimore), attacked Maryland’s racist dual school system in the 1930s.

With the Rev. John Wright marching to Ocean City’s Boardwalk in 1986

Continue reading First woman President of NAACP got her start in Denton

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