Maryland: The most powerful Underground Railroad storytelling destination in the world

News Release, Maryland Department of Commerce

BALTIMORE, MD (September 3, 2019) – Governor Larry Hogan today proclaimed September as International Underground Railroad Month, which recognizes Maryland as the most powerful destination for authentic Underground Railroad history. It also commemorates all those involved in the Underground Railroad, including Maryland’s courageous Harriet Tubman, the brilliant orator Frederick Douglass, and thousands of freedom seekers.  

“Maryland has the most documented successful escapes, and was heavily active in the Underground Railroad,” said Governor Hogan. “Recognizing International Underground Railroad Month in Maryland honors the heroism of many brave men, women, and children who took a dangerous journey along the Underground Railroad and those who fought for their freedom.”

Visitors can explore the powerful history and stories of courage through interpretive materials, tours, attractions, and guides as they visit Maryland’s Network to Freedom sites. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway provides visitors with the opportunity to walk in Tubman’s footsteps, while the “Following in His Footsteps: Maryland’s Frederick Douglass Driving Tour” traces Douglass’s story around the state.  

Maryland, as a true epicenter of the Underground Railroad, was home to many of the Underground Railroad’s leaders. Throughout the state, partners have come together to tell the stories of Tubman and Douglass, as well as Henry Highland Garnet, Josiah Henson, the William Still Family, and J.W.C. Pennington. 

“As the nation’s first ethnic commission, we are pleased to join Governor Hogan in recognizing the authentic history of the Underground Railroad whereby countless brave men, women, and children enslaved here in Maryland were able to escape to their freedom,” said Rev. Dr. Tamara England Wilson, chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.

“Their stories which reveal cooperation across racial lines will inspire each of us today to do our part in ensuring that all people enjoy the freedoms that this nation affords.”

Today marks the 181st anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s self-liberation from Baltimore’s President Street Station. September 17, 2019, will mark the 170th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s self-liberation from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

For more information and to plan the journey along the Underground Railroad, visit visitmaryland.org/ugrr.


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David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...