Pathways to Freedom: Maryland and the Underground Railroad
About the Underground Railroad
about the underground railroad
following the footsteps
eyewitness to history
figure it out
mapping it out
secrets: language, signs and symbols
create a quilt block
living history
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What about free blacks? How many people of African descent in Maryland were free?

Over the years, an increasing number of African Americans living in Maryland were free. Every ten years, the United States government counts people. This is called a census. Each time the government takes a census, it is different. The government has counted people by race, by the country where they were born, by sex, by age, by whether they could read or write, and by many other categories.

In 1860, just before the Civil War began, almost half of all African Americans in Maryland were free. Great numbers of free blacks lived in Baltimore City. By 1860, about 90% of all people of African descent in the city were free.

Find historic data for Maryland and its counties in Figure It Out, our interactive timeline.

Were many children slaves?

« back to Slavery and Free Blacks

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