Juneteenth Tour

Park Ranger Matt Borders led a walking tour of the battlefield, highlighting what researchers know about the enslaved people who were forced to live there and the Black men who would later enlist to aid the Union cause at Monocacy Junction.

The wind tore across Monocacy National Battlefield on Sunday morning, tugging at the hair and clothes of the roughly 50 people who stood quietly atop a small, dirt-covered hill.

Just a foot or so below the soil were the remains of six separate foundations. Together, the structures once comprised what historians call a “slave village.” At the turn of the 19th century, it was home to 90 enslaved people.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

Education reporter

Jillian Atelsek covers education for The Frederick News-Post. She grew up near Woodsboro, attended Walkersville High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with degrees in journalism and history.

(5) comments


“There are all these attempts to downplay slavery, particularly in the border states,” Borders said. “The fact of the matter is, slavery is still slavery.

I couldn't agree more:

Originally, the British colonies in North America only recognized indentured servants, but not slaves. The first slave owner was a Black, Anthony Johnson from Angola. In 1651, he held 250 acres and five Black indentured servants. In 1654, it was time for Anthony to release John Casor, a Black indentured servant, but he fought in court to change Casor from indentured servant to slave. He convinced the court to allow Blacks to use their own race as slaves. Whites still could not own Blacks as slaves until several decades later. In 1699, due to an effort to repatriate free Blacks back to Africa, many Blacks sold themselves as slaves to avoid being sent back. In 1830, there were 3,775 Black families living in the South who owned Black slaves. In 1860, in New Orleans alone, there were about 3,000 slaves owned by Black households.[26]

In the 1700s, free Blacks could own White indentured servants as slaves. They also owned slaves in the Northern states. Free Blacks owned slaves in Boston by 1724 and in Connecticut by 1783. In 1790, 48 Blacks in Maryland owned 143 slaves. One famous black Maryland farmer, Nat Butler, regularly purchased and sold Blacks for the Southern trade. In 1830, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the Black population was free. In some cases, Blacks purchased Black slaves for reasons such as protecting family members, but in other cases they were purchased in order to gain a profit from their labor. Black slave-holders fought to keep their slaves in the American Civil War.[27]

"There were several routes to freedom for black slaves, and the 1860 census counted 224,963 free blacks living in the South (6 percent of all Southern blacks). [xi] Why didn’t they move to the North, where there were also communities of free blacks? Presumably, because free blacks could live comfortably in the Antebellum South."[7]

Free Blacks could also have migrated to Haiti or Liberia, independent countries ruled by Blacks, but most did not, and many of those who did migrated back, as discussed in the articles on these countries.

Black professor Tony Martin & Black American Dontell Jackson have written & spoken extensively about the the Trans Atlantic slave trade.


Thanks for the research, art. I'm still waiting for my reparations, even though I was never a slave and never owned any slaves. What happens to a mixed race person who has slaves on one branch of the family tree and poor white crackers on the other? Does my reparation check get cut?


Spare us, Walter. That’s not the focus of the article, your racist feelings. White Male, Rightwing Victimhood is currently the greatest threat to the USA. Whinging LDE.


Shhhh a&a, there are some things certain people don't like to discuss, and blacks owning other blacks is one of them. The fact that blacks sold their fellow blacks into slavery in the first place is another taboo topic.


In looking at the Battlefield's web page, this was probably one of the first woman-owned businesses in Frederick County. Victoire Vincendière purchased the land, and at 22/23 years of age, ran the plantation with an iron fist. After about 20 years she sold it off & made a nice profit. There's no record of what became of her after that point.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.