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Richard Potter Rescue Celebration Site


Richard Potter Rescue Celebration Site is the location of the former hotel where Richard Potter was brought after he was rescued from being kidnapped in 1853. This site is relevant to the Underground Railroad as it is the place where Richard Potter's freedom began. In 1853, African American and white residents celebrated the rescue and return of Richard John Potter, a free black youth who had been kidnapped from Greensboro, Caroline County, MD and sold into slavery to Delaware. Born free around 1838 in Greensboro, Richard was indentured in 1848 by his mother, Sydney Potter, to Batchelder C. Skinner, a farmer living near Greensboro.Finding that he no longer could use Richard's labor, Skinner leased him, illegally, to Edward Taylor, another farmer near Greensboro, sometime around 1852.Taylor was cruel and abusive.When Richard's parents sued in court to cancel their son's indenture, Taylor schemed to sell Potter as a slave.In a trap set by Taylor, Potter was kidnapped from Taylor's farm and sold to a man named Vaughn, who lived near Concord, in Sussex, DE. With search parties hot on Potter's trail, Vaughn decided to kill him.Fortunately, young Richard fled from the Vaughn home and found refuge with a sympathetic neighbour, Mrs. Short.Potter was rescued and brought back to Denton, Caroline Co. While resting on the steps of the local hotel on Courthouse Square, he was greeted by his joyful parents and cheering crowds. Potter's indenture, kidnapping, and rescue is vividly documented in his memoir, The Narrative of the Experience, Adventures, and Escape of Richard Potter, first published in 1866. The site nominated includes the former hotel site where he was feted upon his return.[1]The site was the former location of Denton's only hotel on the town square in 1853. The hotel site is now the current location of a 20th century bank building.



[1] Four sites associated with Richard John Potter, who was kidnapped from near Greensboro, Caroline County, Maryland in 1853 and sold into slavery in Delaware. Site 1: Boyce Mill Farm/Edward Taylor residence where Potter was indentured outside of Greensboro, MD. Site 2: Hotel across from Courthouse in Denton, MD, where Richard Potter was returned and viewed a celebration of his rescue. Site 3: Home site of his parents Sydney and Stanford Potter in Denton, MD. Site 4: Home site of Richard Potter after Civil War in Denton, MD[NB Kidnapping sites in Delaware have not been fully researched in this application, though the known information about those sites/people are included below]

Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.

Location: 4 N. 2nd Street, Denton, Caroline, 21629

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

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Don Mulrine Town Administrator of DENTON

Location Type: Site