Historic Sotterley Plantation will hold a ceremony on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. to place a marker remembering those who perished during the Middle Passage. On this special day, we will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of Emancipation in Maryland. The public is invited to attend this ceremony to remember and honor ancestors.
Sotterley Plantation is part of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project, a non-profit organization that is helping to discover and recognize middle passage sites. Sotterley served as a trans-Atlantic arrival site in the early 18thcentury. James Bowles, owner of the then 2,000 acre plantation, was an agent of the Royal African Company. Bowles ordered slaves to be bought along the Gold and Windward Coasts of Africa and shipped to his plantation on the Patuxent River.
On November 1, 1864, slavery was finally abolished in Maryland. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to those in bondage in Maryland, a slave-holding Union state. Emancipation was accomplished by the Maryland State Constitution of 1864, not popular with a large portion of the voting public. But with the final votes of Maryland’s Union soldiers, the state constitution was ratified and 165 years of slavery at Sotterley Plantation came to an end.
Please join us at Sotterley on Saturday, November 1, 2014 to remember and celebrate ancestors who perished and those that endured to seek their freedom.