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Joseph Cornish Escape from Gilpin's Point


This nomination is the story of Joseph Cornish who escaped on a vessel from Gilpin's Point, one of the busiest wharves along the Choptank River in Caroline County, Maryland. (Gilpin's Point is now a small public park with a soft landing) He stopped in Philadelphia and gave his story to William Still, the greatest recorder of slave narratives.Still offered him food and rest and sent him on to New York and then Canada.

As represented by Cornish's escape, the Choptank River was an important pathway and barrier for freedom seekers making their way from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to freedom in states to the north and Canada.The sixty-eight mile long river, from its headwaters near the Delaware border in Caroline county to the Chesapeake Bay bordering Dorchester and Talbot counties, was the site of hundreds of escape attempts - some successful, others unsuccessful in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.Using their maritime skills, relying on the aid of other mariners, or secreting themselves aboard vessels sailing along the river, freedom seekers used a variety of resources to utilize the river as their means of escape from enslavement.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: c/o Caroline Office of Tourism, 10219 River Landing Rd, Denton, 21629

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Susan Simmons

Location Type: Site

Freedom Seekers: Joseph Cornish