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Sotterley

Sotterley Plantation, St. Mary's County, Maryland, encompasses almost 300 years of Southern Maryland history. Sotterley, as we know it today, was part of an original 1650 land grant of 4000 acres. In 1717, James Bowles constructed the original Mansion House. During the 18th century it was a thriving tobacco plantation, owned by the Plater family, and in the 19th century, under the Briscoe family, Sotterley continued as a plantation and busy steamboat landing. Records indicate a community of enslaved African Americans under James Bowles through the Plater era of the 18th century. In the 19th century the estate contained one of the largest communities of enslaved African Americans in southern Maryland. Today the plantation is maintained as an example of a tidewater plantation on the banks of the Patuxent River. Remarkably, thanks to descendant Agnes Kane Callum, there is a great deal of documented information available on her enslaved family members, as well as on the plantation's owners. In the 18th century George Plater III, Maryland’s 6th Governor, advertised as runaways: Towerhill (Maryland Gazette, Feb 16, 1786) and Clem (Maryland Gazette Dec. 2, 1784). In the 19th century, George Briscoe escaped servitude at Sotterley to join the US Colored Troops.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: PO Box 67, Hollywood, St. Mary's, 20636

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Catherine Elder

Location Type: Site

People/Organizations Associated with the site: United States Colored Troops

Freedom Seekers: Clem (MD, 1784),George Briscoe,Towerhill (MD, 1786)