Early Escape Route

Early Escape Route (HMQUH)

Location: Stafford, VA 22554 Stafford County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 23.372', W 77° 18.945'

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Trail to Freedom

"For a few moments, silence prevailed. My master [Ellen] looked at me, and I at him, but neither of us dared to speak a word, for fear of making some blunder that would tend to our detection. we knew that the officers had the power to throw us in prison..."
— William Craft, Dec. 24, 1848.

The opening of the rail line to Aquia in 1842 provided opportunity for slaves seeking freedom. In 1848, slaves William and Ellen Craft of Georgia embarked on their dangerous journey to escape. Ellen, born of a slave mother and a white father, disguised herself as a white man seeking medical treatment in the North. William assumed the role of her body servant. They traveled by train, carriage, and steamship from Georgia to Philadelphia, passing unchallenged through Aquia Landing. They reached Philadelphia — and freedom — on Christmas day 1848.

Three months later, Henry "Box" Brown became one of the most famous fugitives in American history. A slave in Richmond, Brown packed himself in a wooden box to be mailed to freedom. By wagon, train, and steamboat, Brown traveled north, sometimes upside down. After 27 hours and undetected passage through Aquia Landing, the Express Mail box carrying Henry Box Brown was delivered in Philadelphia, its occupant a slave no more.

"The joy of the friends was very great; when they heard that I was alive they soon managed to break open the box, and then came my resurrection from the grave of slavery. I rose a freeman...." —Henry Box Brown, Mar. 30, 1849
Year Placed2011
Placed ByStafford County and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 3:52pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 297750 N 4251574
Decimal Degrees38.38953333, -77.31575000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 23.372', W 77° 18.945'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 23' 22.32" N, 77° 18' 56.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2899 Co Rd 608, Stafford VA 22554, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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