• young visitor petting horse

    Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm

    Maryland

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  • No public programs Wednesday September 17, 2014

    The Park will be open but there will be no public programs on Wednesday September 17, 2014. Meet the Dairy Cow, the Wagon Ride, and Chicken & Egg programs will not be happening on this day. Please call the park at 301.839.1176 if you have any questions.

A Voice Unheard - A Story of Enslavement

living history

Interpreters portraying Minta, Patsy, and child, enslaved women who worked and lived on the Mount Welby plantation.

NPS Photo

From the late 1600s to the early 1800s tobacco, wheat and other crops helped bring prosperity to the slaveholders that owned property that is now Oxon Cove Park. This prosperity came at huge price—bondage, hard labor, and broken families for the enslaved African Americans. No information about the lives of the enslaved people who lived on the Mount Welby plantation survives in their own words. Their voice is still unheard and their stories untold. The wills, letters, and records of the Debutts family tells part of the story, but only from the slaveholders’ point of view. African Americans named George, Edward, Hamilton, Minta, Patsy, and Matilda, among others, lived in bondage on the land. Most able-bodied bondspeople—men, women, and older children—worked in the fields. One or two probably worked as cooks or servants in the main house. Enslaved African Americans considered property by law, and were far the most valuable property after the land itself. A few enslaved people were freed by their owners, usually after years of forced service. Along with their labor, African Americans— free and enslaved—brought their language, skills, food, music, stories, and history to the property, Maryland and the nation.

Did You Know?

cider press

The oldest fruit tree in the National Park Service can be found at Oxon Hill Farm. For centuries the making of cider from apples has been more than just pressing fruit to provide a delicious drink. Cider making was a social event for family and neighbors.