Administered by the National Park Service, Fort Washington Park, the home of Fort Washington, is located south of the District of Columbia (DC) in Prince George's County, Maryland. The fort exists to defend the nearby waterways. Part of the landscape is the water nearby. Visible from Fort Washington, there is a site off Diggs Point at the Mouth of Swann Creek relevant to the Underground Railroad. A mass escape of enslaved African Americans occurred in early September 1814. They escape to a British ship moored there which had come down the Potomac River from occupied Alexandria, Virginia. Nearby, Fort Washington had just been blown up by the commander to avoid falling into the hands of the British. It was near the site from which the freedom seekers left.
During the War of 1812 the British successfully attacked Washington. In order to undermine the local economy, a British Proclamation offered freedom to enslaved African Americans. The escape of African Americans to the British near Fort Washington is documented by depositions sworn in the 1820s by plantation owners from Prince George's County, seeking compensation from the British. None of the freedom seekers were recaptured. One went to Novia Scotia and three to Bermuda.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: , Fort Washington, Prince George's, 20744
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Maryland Dept. Natural Resources Assistant Secretary
Location Type: Site