Monocacy National Battlefield hosts “Enslavement In the Free State”


Officials say reflecting on the past helps us understand where we are today

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Hidden gems are all over the world, but events that happened on Best Farm, Monocacy National Battlefield changed history.

“Enslavement In the Free State” was part of a nationwide commemoration of the landing of the first enslaved African Americans in 1619.

“That’s a history that’s reflected here on our landscape and the battlefield,” Jana Friesen McCabe said, the chief of resource education.

Maryland outlawed slavery in November of 1864, but there are records of some slaves that were trying to liberate themselves at that time. Park rangers told the story of Pierre Louis and his remarkable story to freedom.

“Pierre Louis was brought from Haiti, was brought and registered by a gentleman names Payen, he declares him as his personal slave, Payen actually inherited Pierre Louis from his brother. In 1798 Pierre Louis sues Payen for breaking the law and he wins he wins his freedom,” McCabe said.

Officials from the park service say they want people to know that by reflecting on the past. Help us understand where we are today.

“Slavery ended in Maryland in 1864 but that doesn’t mean we got equality here, we are not done becoming who we aspire to be as a nation,” McCabe said.

The National Park Service has more events like this coming up in September.

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