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
underground railroad library
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Were many children slaves?

Yes, sadly, children were slaves too. If a child's mother was a slave, the child was born a slave. When they were very young, children usually did not have to work. Until the age of about six, they could stay at home and play. Usually an older female slave would take care of all the young children while their mothers went to work. After about six years of age, children slaves also had to work. In the fields, they could pick bugs off plants, pull weeds, pick up stones, or gather wood. They could carry water and wood to the house. They could help in the kitchen, the stables, and so on. Most did not get a chance to go to school or learn to read and write.

Black family
Children born to slave mothers were also considered slaves. It was not uncommon for families to be split up and sold to work in different places.

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

Did slaves live in all parts of Maryland?

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