The night of Saturday, July 24, 1858, William Henry Cornish, Mary Light, Charles Anthony Light, Esther Cornish, Solomon Cornish, Thomas Rideout, and John Green, fled their enslavers in the Town Point and Cambridge areas in Dorchester County, Maryland. Their escape relied on the help from a white conductor, an Irish immigrant and wood sawyer named Hugh Hazlett. Several of the freedom seekers were related to members of a large party of 28 who fled Cambridge in October, 1857. Winding their way northeast, the group was captured in northeastern Caroline County, 50 miles away. They were betrayed by a free African American named Jesse Perry, who colluded with a group of white men and set an ambush for them. Hazlett and the others were jailed in Denton, Caroline County, to await rendition back to Cambridge, Dorchester County. On the morning of August 2, Hazlett and the freedom seekers traveled on the steamboat Kent from Denton via the Choptank River to Cambridge, where a mob had gathered to await their arrival at Long Wharf. The sheriff feared the mob would lynch Hazlett, so he ordered the steamboat to leave Long Wharf and dock at another location upriver. Hazlett was later safely secured in the Cambridge jail. The freedom seekers were re-enslaved, and Hazlett was tried and convicted and sent to prison for 44 years. OOn Christmas Day 1861, John Wesley and George Hackett fled from Bucktown, Dorchester County. Using a forged pass, Hughes boarded the steamer Kent at Long Wharf. On his way to Baltimore, the suspicious captain arrested Hughes and returned him to Cambridge via the steamboat Champion, where Hughes was returned to his enslaver, Pritchettt Meredith. The Long Wharf itself is no longer extant, but the site now is a publicly owned waterfront location for pedestrians, boats, bikes and motor vehicles.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 100 High Street, Cambridge, Dorchester, 21613
Contact Information: 410-228-1000 (main phone)
Website: Long Wharf at Cambridge
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: City of Cambridge
Location Type: Site