July


Mark Caesar and William Wheeler


On July 7, 1845, a group of enslaved African Americans set out from Charles County Maryland, and began walking towards Pennsylvania and their freedom. The group, which reports numbered between forty and seventy, was also comprised of slaves from St. Mary's and Prince George's counties who joined the march along the way. It was reported that the group was armed with weapons: bludgeons, scythe blades, clubs, and some with pistols. As word of insurrection spread among the white population, the group was eventually confronted near Rockville, Montgomery County, by a militia group named the "Montgomery Volunteers." Although some fled, many slaves stayed and fought against the Volunteers, however, in the end, around thirty slaves were captured and jailed for participating in the insurrection. Most of the slaves captured were returned to their respective owners and eventually sold, but two men thought to be the leaders of the uprising were put on trial for the offense; Mark Caesar and William Wheeler. Caesar faced trial on September 4, 1845, found guilty and sentenced to serve forty years in the State Penitentiary. Wheeler faced trial on September 1, 1845, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Caesar died in prison on November 11, 1850 of consumption.  



"An Act to receive and keep William Wheeler"

Penitentiary record for Mark Caesar - 

p. 1

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Article on the trial of Mark Caesar and William Wheeler


August: Matthew Henson (1866)


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