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Caroline County Courthouse and Jail

 

The Caroline County Courthouse and Jail site are nominated to commemorate the stories of two captured Underground Railroad agents. In late July 1858, seven enslaved people fled from near Cambridge, MD in Dorchester County with the help of Hugh Hazlett, an Irish immigrant who worked as a wood sawyer.Winding their way through Caroline County, the group was captured between Henderson and Templeville in the northeast corner of the county along the border with Queen Anne's County, MD and Kent County, DE.The group had been betrayed by a free African America named Jesse Perry, who in collusion with a group of white men set an ambush for them.After their capture, Hazlett and the others were brought to Denton and placed in the county jail next to the courthouse to be later taken for trial in Dorchester County. Several of the freedom seekers were related to members of a large party of twenty-eight self liberators, who fled Cambridge in October, 1857.Hazlett and the freedom seekers were returned by steamboat down the Choptank River to Cambridge, where Hazlett was threatened with an angry mob. The freedom seekers were re-enslaved, and Hazlett was tried and convicted and sent to prison for forty-four years.In 1849, Isaac Gibson, a free African American, helped an enslaved man named John Stokes in an unsuccessful attempt to flee his enslaver in Hillsborough, Caroline County.Captured and jailed in Denton, Gibson was tried and convicted at the Caroline County Courthouse in March 1851.He was sentenced to a little more than three years in prison.[1]


 


 

[1] See Maps associated with these sites in S.11

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Courthouse Square, 109 Market Street, Denton, Caroline, 21629

Contact Information: 410-479-0655 (main phone)

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Commissioners of Caroline County

Location Type: Site