Chapter 0 Activities: Freedom from Slavery in Prison

An old drawing of a group of black men, women, and children being led to prison where they will be sold into slavery. While Catherine Payne had more freedom from slavery in prison, those she witnessed did not.
From the Washington, Virginia, jailhouse, Catherine Payne and her children saw enslaved people imprisoned and auctioned.

When Samuel Maddox kidnapped the Paynes to return them to slavery, they embarked on a 122-mile journey where they would find more freedom from slavery in prison than in the rest of Virginia. The journey would typically take about two days, but the most worrisome part of the journey for Maddox was getting from Bendersville to the Mason Dixon Line, about ten miles south. Once he crossed the Mason Dixon Line, he was unlikely to be challenged for having possession of the Paynes. The line marked the division in the country between slaveholding states and free states (though this would change over the course of the two decades leading to the Civil War).

The following is an interactive map of the approximate route that Maddox and the Paynes might have taken. There are six hotspots on the map. Each is the location of a place of importance to the slave trade, the Payne story, or the Underground Railroad. Start at Bendersville and click along the trail to find each spot.

When you have finished this activity, you may wish to review the Resources and Context for Chapter 0: Freedom from Slavery in Prison.

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