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Old Jail of St. Mary's County

The Jail plays a central role in the story of slavery and flights to freedom in St. Mary’s County. It was common for runaways to be held in a public jail until their owner retrieved them or they were sold for cost of care. “Some masters were accustomed to have committed to the jail by magistrates such slaves as were unruly or desirous of running away, or whom, for one reason or another, they desired to have in safe keeping.” At least five examples of runaway slaves being held in the jail can be found in the local newspaper The St. Mary’s Beacon.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Box 212, Leonardtown, 20650

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: SMCHS S. Erichsen

Location Type: Site