At the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers in Prince George's County, Maryland, the Berry family cultivated crops on land purchased from the Addisons and the DeButts. Regardless of ownership, the back-breaking labor was done by enslaved workers. The Berry Farm (1308 acres) is gone, but the Berry fields still exist as part of Oxon Cove Park (234 acres) operated by the National Park Service. NPS was given responsibility for the area in 1967 and has operated a demonstration farm to educate the public. Wherever slavery exists, there will also be attempted flights to freedom. On the Berry farm, at least one person is known to have escaped. On December 5, 1840, Thomas Berry place an advertisement in the Daily National Intelligencer requesting information and/or the return of an enslaved person named Jacob Shaw. A second ad was placed by John Bayne (a neighboring farmer) seeking the return of Samuel Tyler, also an enslaved person who had fled at the same time as Shaw. Probably Shaw and Tyler fled together. Whether these men returned to slavery is not known. Given the location on the border of the District of Columbia, it was possible to escape and find shelter in the free black community of Washington, DC.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Oxon Cove Farm, 6411 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Prince George's, 20745
National Park Unit: Yes
Ownership: Park Manager
Location Type: Site