Four Talbot County Sites Featured in the Civil War Trails Program

These stories make for a fascinating journey through Talbot County, and all are a part of the Civil War Trails system.  This system guides visitors at more than 1,200 sites throughout Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. 

Frederick Douglass:  Tuckahoe Roots

Frederick Douglass

Famed orator, author, statesman, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County in February 1818 on the Aaron Anthony farm. He lived in his grandparents’ small cabin on Tuckahoe Creek until age six. His quest for freedom and natural rights began on this quiet creek, and the start of his journey is marked with a Civil War Trails marker, which can be viewed at Covey’s Landing in Cordova, Maryland.

This is just one of several sites within Talbot County where you can explore the life of Douglass and his time here. Explore his journey further through self-guided driving and walking tours and other activities.

Nathaniel Hopkins:  A Talbot County Trailblazer

Born into slavery in 1831, Nathaniel (Nace) Hopkins, went on to self-emancipate and fight during the Civil War. After the war, he founded ‘The Emancipation Celebration Day,’ in 1867, and it became an annual tradition affectionately called ‘Nace’s Day.’ The celebration featured a parade, church services, choir, and food. Hopkins would go on to lead the celebratory parade, every year, until his death in 1900. It was said that Hopkins lead the parade in his full U.S. Army uniform, complete with colorful sash and sword in hand.

To learn more about Hopkins and his legacy, visit the Civil War Trails sign located at 3748 Main St., in Trappe, which is across from his burial site. Afterwards, you can take a brief stroll at Nace’s Park and enjoy lunch at one of Trappe’s locally owned restaurants. Or you can make a full day of it and join in the celebration yourself, as the Nace’s Day celebration is still held annually, each Fall.

Oxford Wharf: Transporting of United States Colored Troops (USCTs)

Harper's Weekly Image of United States Colored Soldiers

During the Civil War, seven regiments were raised of the United States Colored Troops (USCTs) in Maryland.  Bounty money from the Maryland General Assembly was promised to every Black man that enlisted, as well as to owners who granted freedom to those they enslaved, so that they could fight.  The Oxford Wharf served as a principal embarkation point for new recruits, transporting them over water to training stations.

The Town of Oxford is stepped in history, and while the Oxford Wharf marker is the only one on the Civil War Trails system, there are eight other markers in walking distance.  The Water’s Edge Museum celebrates the founding Black families of America through artwork and offers free admission.  Just outside of Oxford, the John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church still stands.  At the time of the Civil War, the church was a recruitment center for USCTs. 

The Civil War Trails Marker is located in Oxford, Maryland, at the intersection of East Strand and North Morris St. 

Unionville: A Town Built by Soldiers

Unionville St. Stephen's AME Church

Unionville is a tight-knit community of roughly 50 homes nestled along a country lane. Eighteen Black soldiers who served in the Union Army are buried here in a small cemetery. More than half of these soldiers were assigned to the 7th United States ‘Colored’ Infantry Regiment, fighting in several pivotal battles during the Civil War. After being discharged in 1866, the veterans came together to build a school and church on land that would be named Unionville, in honor of their Civil War service. The graves of the Black veterans are marked with a Civil War Trails marker at St. Stephen’s AME Church cemetery, located at 9467 Unionville Rd, and many of today’s homeowners are descendants of the original landowners. At less than five miles from Easton, it’s worth a detour.

The Civil War Trails marker can be viewed St. Stephen’s AME Church, which is located at 9467 Unionville Road in Easton, Maryland.

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