“Maryland: A House Divided”
Surratt House Museum
9118 Brandywine Road
Clinton, MD 20735
www.surratt.orgHours: Jan 18 to Dec 16 Wed to Fri – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sat to Sun – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $3 adults/$2 senior citizens/$2 groups of 10 or more/$1 children 5 to 18/free for society membersParking/Public Transportation
Visitors may park on site for no fee. From the Branch Avenue metro station, the C11 toward Clinton Park stops at Clinton P & R Lot and Bus Bay B. From there it is a 17-minute walk to The Surratt House Museum.The Surratt House Museum has curated a three-part exhibit series on the history of Maryland’s experience before, during and after the Civil War. Over the course of six years, a new exhibit every two years, the museum will transform a room in the museum to capture one aspect of Southern Maryland’s experience. In 2013, it will roll out “Between the Lines,” an exhibit focusing on life in Southern Maryland during The Civil War. In 2015, on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, it will conclude the series with an exhibit focusing on the infamous historical event and the hunt for John Wilkes Booth through Southern Maryland. “Maryland: A House Divided” kicked off the series.
The Surratt House Museum is one of the most important historical sites in Maryland and an important Civil War site. Mary Surratt’s home, which became a tavern and more, was used as a place where Confederates could lay low during the war. It was her connection to the Confederate mission, and John Wilke’s Booth, that led her to become the first woman executed by the U.S. government. Through text, graphics and an accompanying booklet, the “Maryland: A House Divided” exhibit submerses you in Maryland’s Civil War history, a history marred by conflict, struggle, indecision and war.
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In these exhibits, the walls are papered with texts and accompanying graphics only. There are no showcases with artifacts or memorabilia in this series. While the second and third parts of the exhibit series will focus specifically on Southern Maryland, “Maryland: A House Divided” showcases what the entire state went through over the course of those controversial centuries. This includes slavery’s dividing impact, the presidential election of 1860, John Harper’s raid on Harpers Ferry, Baltimore eventually being under martial law after a series of riots, and the emancipation of slaves.
Along with the background of how Maryland became a slave-holding state, the events that forced it to try to make a decision about its stance on slavery, and the effects of these events on the state, the exhibit also includes images and the history of the major Maryland players of The Civil War. Some are easily recognizable, including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. There are also features on lesser known players such as Anna Ella Carroll, the unseen cabinet member of the Lincoln administration, and Josiah Henson, a member of the Underground Railroad and leader of the Dawn community of escaped slaves in what is now Ontario.
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