Freedom Fighters: Maryland Celebrates International Underground Railroad Month |

Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed September 2022 as the fourth annual Maryland International Underground Railroad Month.

The designation recognizes the Underground Railroad’s historical, political and social importance and contributions to ending slavery and inspiring contemporary civil rights efforts, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Maryland has already designated 2022 as the Year of Harriet Tubman, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth.

Tubman was born into slavery on the East Coast and became a leader of the Underground Railroad helping escaped slaves reach the free states of the US.

“Maryland is honored to share the stories of the heroes of the Underground Railroad with the world in every way possible,” Hogan said in a statement. “This month, International Underground Railroad Month, is a way to encourage everyone to visit historic sites and attractions and participate in special events, so we can continue to commemorate visionary freedom fighters and those they rescued.”

The Maryland Department of Commerce Tourism Office has also created a new collection of experiences highlighting the impact the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways had on Underground Railroad riders called The Hidden Chesapeake: Slavery and Freedom through Harriet Tubman’s Eyes.

“With nearly 100 sites statewide, Maryland is uniquely positioned as the most powerful underground rail narrative destination in the world,” said state Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill. “Visiting museums and attractions and participating in special activities this month honors the brave men and women who participated in Maryland’s contributions to freeing enslaved people.”

Maryland has the most documented successful slave escapes using the Underground Railroad and most of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network sites to Liberty, according to the governor’s office.

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There are numerous historic Underground Railroad sites throughout the East Coast, including the Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass Historic Sites and Driving Tours.

Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County and became one of the leading abolitionist voices. There are numerous sites in Cambridge, Easton, and other coastal towns with historical significance related to slavery, the slave trade, the underground railway, and the abolitionist movement.

The governor’s office also announced a list of

Events of the International Underground Railroad Month.

These include events at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, a new 10-foot bronze sculpture of Tubman at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, narrated historical tours of Talbot, Dorchester and Caroline counties hosted by the Museum and Harriet Tubman Educational Center. .

On Saturday, September 10, a new 12-foot bronze sculpture of Tubman called “Beacon of Hope” will be dedicated at the Dorchester County Courthouse. The sculpture by artist Wesley Wofford will be located on the site of former slave auctions.

There will also be birding events along the Underground Railroad areas on the coast that will showcase contemporary and historic ecosystems, as well as bald eagle sightings.

There will also be an Emancipation Celebration on September 18 at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center in Church Creek.)

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