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Denton Steamboat Wharf Site, Choptank River

The nominated site is the former location of the town of Denton Steamboat Wharf along Choptank River where captured Underground Railroad agent Hugh Hazlett and seven freedom seekers boarded the Steamer Kent for return to Cambridge, Maryland, from which they had fled. Late at night on Saturday, July 24, 1858, William Henry Cornish, Mary Light, Charles Anthony Light, Esther Cornish, Solomon Cornish, Thomas Ridout, and John Green, fled their enslavers in the Town Point and Cambridge area in Dorchester county, Maryland. Their risky escape relied on the help they received from a white conductor, an Irish immigrant named Hugh Hazlett. Winding their way through neighboring Caroline County, the group was captured between Henderson and Templeville in the northeast corner of the Caroline County along the border with Queen Anne's County, Maryland, and Kent County, Delaware. The group had been betrayed by a free African American 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 County Courthouse. Several of the freedom seekers were related to members of a large party of twenty-eight who fled Cambridge in October, 1857. Hazlett and the freedom seekers were returned by steamboat, which was docked at the wharf across the river from the courthouse, down the Choptank River to Cambridge for trial. The freedom seekers were re-enslaved, and Hazlett was convicted and sent to prison for forty-four years.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 10219 River Landing Road, Denton, Caroline, 21629

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Commissioners of Caroline County

Location Type: Site