Josiah Henson home a special place
Let's not overshadow a golden opportunity to establish the Josiah Henson Special Park with manufactured controversy. The Rev. Josiah Henson's life is the focal point of this park. And, what a life first enslaved, then minister, fugitive, freedman, Underground Railroad conductor, author, abolitionist, and international speaker. Henson's 1849 autobiography of slave life on the Riley plantation formed the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
This park will interpret the history of slavery in Montgomery County and Maryland on the grounds of a real plantation based on the published words of an enslaved man who lived and toiled there. We are on the precipice of an exciting time with this tremendous resource. On Dec. 2, the Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a work session to adopt a final Josiah Henson Special Park master plan moving us one step closer to opening this park as a public museum.
If you haven't, I invite you to step into the Riley house and log structure, to feel transformed to the time where all men were not treated equally, and I am certain you will understand the importance of this site more deeply. Be a part of history, visit www.JosiahHensonSite.org.
Shirl Spicer, Silver Spring