The Best Farm is a component of Monocacy National Battlefield, a major National Park Service Civil War battlefield site, located south of the city of Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland. The Best Farm is named for the tenant family who occupied it before and during the Civil War; however, it was once part of a 748-acre plantation known as L'Hermitage, which was established by the Vincendieres, a family of French planters from the Caribbean. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries L'Hermitage was home to the second-largest enslaved population in Frederick County, and documents indicate that the owners instituted a harsh form of slavery. Even after the Vincendieres sold the property, slavery continued to be practiced here. Given the inhumanity of slavery, historic research indicates that at L'Hermitage and the Best Farm, freedom seekers exercised personal agency by attempting to escape. The National Park Service has undertaken extensive historical and archeological studies, and as a result L'Hermitage is well-documented through land records, wills, newspaper advertisements, lawsuits, and census records. During the Vincendieres' tenure (50-90 bondsmen), there is documentation of runaway slaves. The names of the escaping men and dates of the runaway advertisements are: Phil (1795) and Jerry (1795). During the Best family's residence on the same site, there is a runaway advertisement for Lewis Owens (1850).
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Monocacy National Battlefield, 4801 Urbana Pike, Frederick, Frederick, 21704
National Park Unit: Yes
Ownership: Susan Trail
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Jerry (MD, 1795),Lewis Owens,Phil (MD, 1795)