We are open today, 9/16/23, for tours, conversation and reflection! Hours 12:30-2:30.
Tolson's Chapel was built in 1866 by the African American community in Sharpsburg, MD and served as a
We are open today, 9/16/23, for tours, conversation and reflection! Hours 12:30-2:30.
Located at the bustling nexus of America’s first railroad and a busy Chesapeake waterfront, the enslaved in Central Maryland had opportunities to find freedom. Freedom seekers escaped to the north on foot, hid and blended i [...]
The Chapel will not be opened today. If you are in the area, feel free to visit our cemetery. It's headstones introduce you to Tolson's Chapel and School congregants throughout the years. We will open for our next scheduled tour October 7, 12pm-4pm. Peace and Blessings
We're preparing for a busy fall! Hopefully you will be able to join us as we tell the Tolson's story.
Researchers have compared the DNA of 27 Black people who lived at the Catoctin furnace between 1774 and 1850, finding a link between these enslaved Americans and nearly 42,000 living relatives.
Celebrating Juneteenth 2023 with facts and fellowship!
Juneteenth programming at Tolson's Chapel!
Saturday, June 17th 11-1 Lecture/Discussion with Olivia Williams from Antietam Battlefield, National Park Service
Monday, June 19th 11-1 Learn Juneteenth Facts and discussion of how Black's contributed to their own liberation.
Join the Friends of Tolson's Chapel and School on Monday, June 19th 11-1, as we celebrate Juneteenth and discuss how Black's contributed to their liberation!
Remembering the African American tradition of Watch Night! Happy New Year
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
In person or live online at 4:00!
Friends, join us today until 2:00 for our Open House or at 4:00 for Christmas by Candlelight!!!
In this season
of gratitude, Friends of Tolson's Chapel is grateful for the visionary souls who worked for a better future for Black citizens of Sharpsburg.
Blessed with a visit from the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area tour group! African American History is American History!
Take a listen! We are ready for a season of Thanksgiving and joy! Christmas by Candlelight, in person or on fb live. December 10, 4:00PM.
We are getting tuned up!!! Join us December 10th at 4:00 in person or on fb live for Christmas by Candlelight!
Celebrating Maryland Emancipation Day with FREED(Female Re-Enactors of Distinction)
Celebrating Maryland Emancipation Day representing Tolson's Chapel. Board member, Renee Emmanuel, story telling and Board member, Dr. Emilie Amt's book Black Antietam on display!
Tolson's Chapel is being represented at the Maryland Emancipation Day Celebration, Brookside Nature Center!
Great things are happening at the Chapel!!! Stay tuned.
𝗛𝗘𝗡𝗥𝗬 𝗩. 𝗣𝗟𝗨𝗠𝗠𝗘𝗥 (1844-1905)
Henry Vinton Plummer was an American Baptist preacher and a chaplain with the United States Army with the Buffalo Soldiers. Plummer was born into slavery on July 30, 1844 on the Three Sister Plantation near Bowie, Maryland. His father was Adam Francis Plummer, and his mother was Emily Sauders Plummer. His siblings included Sarah Miranda Plummer Clark and Nellie Arnold Plummer. In 1851, Plummer and his mother were sold and taken live first in Washington D.C. and then later in Ellicott Mills, Maryland.
In 1862, Plummer escaped slavery while searching for his father who was on the Riversdale Plantation in Prince George’s County, Virginia. Finding Adam Francis Plummer, they both hid until they were able to free his grandmother and get her to Washington D.C. where slavery had just been abolished.
In 1864, Plummer enlisted with the United States Navy and was honorable discharged after a year. He initially returned to the Riversdale Plantation to live with his parent and siblings but in 1866, they sent him to New Orleans, Louisiana to search for his sister, Sarah who was sold in 1860. Plummer reunited with his and remained in Louisiana where in 1867, he married Julia Lomax. The couple had nine children together.
The Plummers returned to the Washington D.C. area where in 1870, he founded the Union Association of Bladensburg, Maryland. A year later, he received an appointment as a watchman for the U.S. Postal Service in Washington D.C. In 1872, Plummer enrolled at Wayland Seminary in Washington D.C and after he graduated, he became the pastor at St. Paul Baptist church in Bladensburg, Maryland. Plummer remained at St. Paul from 1876 to 1881 but in 1876, he co-founded Mount Carmel Church in Washington D.C. In 1882, Plummer became pastor of Mount Carmel where he served there until 1884. Plummer was also involved in politics where he was a representative for Prince George’s County at the Maryland State Republican Convention both in 1872 and 1876.
In 1883, Plummer was a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates but he believed because of his race he was passed over for the nomination. Plummer, however, remained active in the local GOP and in 1884, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Plummer chaplain of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, a Buffalo Soldier unit. At the time he was the only black officer in the U.S Army. Plummer was stationed at Fort McKinney in Wyoming from August 1, 1885 to March 10, 1891. He also served for a time at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Controversy swirled around Plummer while he stationed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. In the 1890’s, he started a newspaper that called on black soldiers to physically defend themselves from abuse. In August 1894, with the support of famed minister preacher Henry Turner, a former member of the Georgia legislature, Plummer proposed a scheme to Secretary of War Daniel S. Lamount for moving some African Americans to Africa. On August 23, 1894, Plummer was court martialed for drinking, furnishing liquor to enlisted men, and behaving inappropriately. Despite protesting his innocence, he was found guilty and dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. Plummer and his family then moved to Kansas, where he pastored churches and held offices in the Kansas State Baptist Convention. Henry Vinton Plummer died on February 10, 1905 in Kansas City, Kansas at the age of 60.
#𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 #𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆𝗢𝘂𝗿𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 🤎 ✊🏾
Saturday October 1,2022, open house CANCELLED due to weather concerns. Please stay safe and send positive thoughts and acts of kindness to those affected.
What a great Cemetery Preservation Workshop at Tolson's Chapel & 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam & signing of the book, Black Antietam on Sept 17th. Thanks to Zola Barnes, Preservation Maryland, Dr. Emilie Amt and all the Tolson's board members and participants.
Friends of Tolson's Chapel is grateful to be a recipient of a Sharp Recovery Grant by Maryland Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities! Maryland Humanities .gov.
Today 10am-12pm Book signing and Cemetery Preservation Workshop at Tolson's Chapel & 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam
111 E. High St Sharpsburg
Great article about the new exhibits at Antietam National Battlefield that address the outcome of the battle and the Civil War - FREEDOM for millions of enslaved African Americans.
Lincoln had to wait for a Union victory to issue his Emancipation Proclamation. That victory came 160 years ago at the Battle of Antietam.
Tolson's Curious??? Tolson's Chapel will be open for touring this Saturday, August 6 from 12pm-4pm!!! All are welcome.
Many thanks to the Town of Sharpsburg for purchasing and hanging these wonderful banners celebrating Tolson's Chapel and School!
"May everything change."
Hymn For The Hurting by Amanda Gorman
Our hearts shadowed and strange,
Minds made muddied and mute.
We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.
And yet none of it is new;
We knew it as home,
Even our children
Cannot be children,
It’s a hard time to be alive,
And even harder to stay that way.
We’re burdened to live out these days,
While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.
This alarm is how we know
We must be altered —
That we must differ or die,
That we must triumph or try.
Thus while hate cannot be terminated,
It can be transformed
Into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;
May our signed right to bear arms
Never blind our sight from shared harm;
May we choose our children over chaos.
May another innocent never be lost.
Maybe everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed & strange.
But only when everything hurts
May everything change.
National Historic Landmark Plaque Dedication pictures. Courtesy of FOTC Board member ZSun-nee Kimbal Matema
Tolson's Chapel's National Historic Landmark Plaque!
National Historic Landmark Plaque Dedication!
111 E High Street
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