Cruising Dorchester County Waters on Skipjack Nathan to Learn About Choptank’s Role in Underground Railroad

The Choptank Region History Network has sponsored the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference at Chesapeake College in Cambridge, MD, for the second consecutive year. The workshop provides opportunities for local tours of sites associated with Tubman and the Underground Railroad.  It also brings together professional and individual researchers who have undertaken investigations regarding Tubman and the people who risked their lives while helping slaves escape.

The foundation for the conference got its start decades ago as John Creighton, one
of the most thorough scholars on this subject started researching this brave woman.  Over the years he started sharing his new insights in a regular discussion group that met monthly.  John was joined by Pat Lewis years ago and the two of them have continued their professional effort to unearth new learnings on this topic.

For the conference, John and Pat lead a two hour tour on Cambridge Creek and part of the Choptank River near Long Wharf.  As the skipjack gently glided through the breezy water last Friday morning, the two professionals described their research and the role Dorchester County waterways played in the Underground Railroad.  John and Pat are
most careful with their fieldwork, applying the strictest professional standards of scholarship to their interpretations, which are based on primary sources.  In addition, they are excellent presenters.

It was a delight to learn much more about this important story as the conference got underway.  Along the way John shared his recollections about Cambridge Harbor, when he was a waterman working the river decades ago.  Thanks Pat and John for so carefully adding much more information to the body of literature on this matter and for sharing it so readily.

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2 Responses to Cruising Dorchester County Waters on Skipjack Nathan to Learn About Choptank’s Role in Underground Railroad

  1. Todd Johnson says:

    My Great Great Grandfather, John Thomas Shores, was a boat builder, among of which he built and designed Skipjacks as well as the wood canoes. He lived in Somerset County near Chance in a house known as “Southern Comfort”

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for sharing that Todd.

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