African-American Heritage

African-American history in Maryland begins in 1634 with the arrival of indentured servant Mathias de Sousa, one of the 140 settlers who first traveled here and established Maryland. While de Sousa’s story is inspiring - he voted in the early legislature - as tobacco became the basis of Southern Maryland’s economy, slavery became entrenched. 

Historic St. Mary’s City

18751 Hogaboom Lane, Visitor Center, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686

38.18070 -76.42963

(240) 895-4990

When the first permanent English settlement in Maryland was established at St. Mary’s City, Mathias de Souza, an indentured servant of African descent, was there at…

Museums & Historic Sites | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Historic Churches & Religious Sites | Ecotourism | Birding

Visitor Favorite

Point Lookout State Park, Civil War Museum & Lighthouse

11175 Point Lookout Road, Scotland, MD 20687

38.06745 -76.33775

(301) 872-5688

National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. During the Civil War Era, Point Lookout was first a hospital for wounded Union soldiers and then…

Museums & Historic Sites | Water Activities | Public Landings & Launches | Parks & Beaches | Fishing & Hunting | Hunting Areas | Recreation | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Civil War Sites | Lighthouses | Ecotourism | Birding

Sotterley Plantation

44300 Sotterley Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636

38.37639 -76.54387

(301) 373-2280

National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site.  Sotterley’s  1830s slave cabin exemplifies typical slave housing in the Tidewater region yet also features unique architectural…

Museums & Historic Sites | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Civil War Sites | War of 1812 Sites | Ecotourism | Birding

African-American Monument and Freedom Park

21744 South Coral Drive, Lexington Park, MD 20653

38.26451 -76.45094

(301) 737-5447

The African-American Monument is located on the grounds of Freedom Park. It was dedicated on July 29, 2000 and recognizes African Americans and Aftrican-American organizations that…

St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites

Cardinal Gibbons Park

48913 Seaside View Road, Ridge, MD 20680

38.13155 -76.38727

(301) 475-4200

Established in 1924 by Jesuit Father LaFarge as a vocational institute under the auspices of the Baltimore Diocese, and operated by educators from the Tuskegee Institute,…

St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites

Drayden African-American Schoolhouse

18287 Cherryfield Road, Drayden, MD 20630

38.16213 -76.48225

(301) 994-1471

One of the best preserved African-American schoolhouses in the country, the one-room schoolhouse still occupies its original site and has not been significantly altered. Built circa…

Museums & Historic Sites | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites

Old Jail Museum

11 Courthouse Drive, Leonardtown, MD 20650

38.28938 -76.63507

(301) 475-2467

National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. The Old Jail was built in 1858 and was in use through the early 1940s. Runaway slaves…

Museums & Historic Sites | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites

“Pathway through History” Markers

21550 Willows Road, John G. Lancaster Park, Lexington Park, MD 20653

38.25621 -76.44948

Wayside interpretive signs mark milestones and challenges experienced by the African American community from the end of the Civil War up to World War II.  (See…

St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites

St. Clement’s Island Museum

38370 Point Breeze Road, Coltons Point, MD 20626

38.22495 -76.75049

(301) 769-2222

Mathias de Sousa, cited as the first individual of African descent to settle in Maryland, was part of the first group of 140 colonists who landed…

Museums & Historic Sites | St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Lighthouses | Historic Churches & Religious Sites

St. Peter Claver Church & McKenna Hall Museum

16922 St. Peter Claver Church Road, St. Inigoes, MD 20684

38.15069 -76.39317

(301) 872-5460

When the original 1918 church burned in 1934, Philip Frohman, architect of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., designed the new church which was completed in…

St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Historic Churches & Religious Sites

United States Colored Troops Memorial Monument

21550 Willows Road, John G. Lancaster Park, Lexington Park, MD 20653

38.25647 -76.45319

(301) 737-5447

The monument is dedicated in grateful tribute to the United States Colored Troops of St. Mary’s County and honors the two USCT soldiers from St. Mary’s…

St. Mary's Heritage | African-American Heritage Sites | Civil War Sites

Visit St. Mary's MD
23115 Leonard Hall Dr.
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Leonardtown, MD 20650

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