Between 1842 and 1862, Aquia Landing of Stafford, Virginia was a pivotal gateway between southern states and northern ports. As the terminus of the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) Railroad, Aquia Landing was the only direct rail-to-steamboat transfer point on the Potomac River between the capital cities of Richmond, VA and Washington, DC. Here, passengers, cargo and entire rail cars were transferred from the RF&P Railroad to steamboat vessels which carried them from the Aquia Creek up the Potomac River to Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. This key location also positioned Aquia Landing as a major gateway along the 'Network to Freedom' through which fugitive slaves had to pass in order to reach freedom. This wharf helped transport prominent individuals such as William and Ellen Craft in December 1848 and Henry "Box" Brown in March 1849, and also aided an estimated 10,000 freedom seekers who sought refuge behind Union lines during the first Federal occupation to Stafford County between April and September 1862. These documented escapes occured prior to the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 2846 Brooke Rd, Stafford, 22554
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Stafford County Government
Location Type: Site