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Poplar Neck Plantation at Marsh Creek

The northwest side of Marsh Creek Bridge is the nominated portion of the former Anthony C. Thompson "Poplar Neck" plantation where Harriet Tubman conducted several escape missions during the 1850's.The northwest side of the Marsh Creek Bridge is nominated because it is the portion of the plantation owned by Caroline County and accessible to the public today. The rest of the former plantation is privately owned.Harriet Tubman's parents, Ben and Rit Ross were active in the Underground Railroad from their home on this large plantation in Caroline County, MD. They assisted Tubman, her brothers, and others as they escaped from or through here. Harriet Tubman led her three brothers, Robert, Henry, and Ben, Ben's fiancé Jane Kane, and friends John Chase and Peter Jackson to freedom on Christmas Day 1854 from this place.With Ben Ross's aid, Tubman was able to affect the escape of Josiah Bailey, his brother William Bailey, and friends Peter Pennington and Eliza Manokey from here to Canada in November 1856.Josiah was a skilled timber foreman for shipbuilder William R. Hughlett at Jamaica Point in Talbot County, six miles downriver from here.In November 1856, Josiah rowed up the Choptank River at night, to Poplar Neck where he told Ben Ross they were ready to flee when Tubman was ready to go.They were hotly pursued by their enslavers, who offered a reward of $2600 for the capture of the fugitives, including $1500 for Josiah Bailey, one of the highest ever for a Maryland slave. Later, after Ben and Rit provided aid in the escape of eight enslaved people in March 1857 from Dorchester County, their Underground Railroad activities were exposed.Threatened with arrest, their daughter Harriet Tubman returned from Canada to rescue them, bringing them safely to St. Catharines, Ontario.William Cornish, enslaved by Thomas Dail and his sons of Dorchester County, fled slavery while attending a Methodist Camp meeting at Marsh Creek in August of 1856

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Northwest side of Marsh Creek Bridge, Preston, Caroline, 21655

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

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Commissioners of Caroline County 109 Market St.

Location Type: Site