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African American History: The Montgomery County Story

Originally published quarterly and now biannually by Montgomery History, The Montgomery County Story is a scholarly journal of research focusing on the history of the people, places, events, and organizations in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Below is a list of Story articles that describe aspects of the African American experience throughout Montgomery County’s history, including research and information on enslavement, free black and post-Civil War communities, education, religion, and more. Click on the title of any article to view or download the PDF.

Current Publications:

66-1 Spring 2023 (article 2 of 2)

“Black Baseball in Norbeck” by Julianne Mangin
The Black community in Norbeck, Maryland boasted one of the best ball fields in Montgomery County. Called Page’s Park and later Bailey’s Park, the field was used into the 1950s and bore witness to the resilience and talent that defined generations of baseball-playing African Americans.

65-1 June 2022 (article 1 of 2)

The Nurse and the Midwife: The Story of Clara Barton and Emma Jones of Gibson Grove by L. Paige Whitley
Traces the relationship between Red Cross founder Clara Barton and her longtime household servant Emma Jones of the Gibson Grove community in Cabin John, detailing Jones’ own successful career as a midwife in lower Montgomery County.

64-2 September 2021
“The Unwritten Law of Maryland”: The Lynching of Sidney Randolph, by Sarah Hedlund, featuring the history of the third and final recorded lynching in Montgomery County: Sidney Randolph in 1896.

64-1 May 2021 (article 1 of 2)
“Webster Sewell and the Struggle for Equal Care,” by Terri Lachin, featuring the story of Webster Sewell, Montgomery County’s only Black doctor during the 1950s and early 1960s.

63-2 July 2020
At the Hand of Parties Unknown: The 1880 Lynchings in Montgomery County, by Sarah Hedlund, featuring the history of the two 1880 lynchings in Montgomery County: George Peck and John Diggs-Dorsey.

62-2 Winter 2020:
Gibbs v. Broome: Rockville’s Place on the Road to Brown v. Board of Education by Sharyn R. Duffin and Alonzo N. Smith.
Describes an early NAACP lawsuit intended to break down Jim Crow education. The legal campaign to equalize pay for all teachers was led by attorney Thurgood Marshall and William B. Gibbs, Jr., a courageous local teacher and civil rights advocate.

Recent Publications:

59-1 Summer 2016:
The Superintendents of Our Schools by William Offutt. Vignettes of the 22 men who have held the most powerful non-elected position in Montgomery County, from 1860 to 2016.

58-2 Fall 2015:
A Century of One- and Two-Room Schools: Teaching Yet Today, by Ralph Buglass. A historic overview and analysis of early public school buildings, how they survived and how they are used today, including schools for African-Americans.

57- 2 Winter 2015: Momentous events of 1864 (1864 Sesquicentennial Issue)
Emancipation in Montgomery County, Maryland by Eileen McGuckian. On November 1, 1864, Maryland became the first state below the Mason-Dixon Line to free slaves within its boundaries by popular vote. These experiences – slavery and manumission, war and politics, creating a new state constitution, emancipation of more than 5,000 local slaves, and its aftermath – played out in extraordinary ways in Montgomery County.

55-1 Summer 2012 (double issue):
From Little League to the Big League: The Takoma Tigers by Eileen McGuckian. An examination of Takoma Park’s baseball team, specifically its integration and the parallels to the integration of the public schools. Key players and coaches are also discussed.

54-1 Summer 2011 (double issue):
African Americans in Montgomery County During the Civil War, by Susan Soderberg. Provides a brief history of African Americans in the county, both enslaved and free, the impact of the Civil War upon them, and the contributions they made to the war.

53-1 Spring 2010 (double issue):
Sugarland’s Story, by Gwen Reese and Suzanne Johnson. Recounts the history of Sugarland, an African American community established in 1871 near Poolesville. Discusses founding of the community church and school, as well the history of individual residents, families, and events.

49-1 February 2006:
The Underground Railroad in Montgomery County: Recent Finds and Revelations, by Anthony M. Cohen. Ann Maria Weems; Wilbur Siebert; Allan Farquhar; Elizabeth Bentley Moore; John Needles.

47-2 May 2004:
Yarrow Mamout, by James H. Johnson. Two portraits exist, one done locally in Georgetown by James Alexander Simpson and one by Charles Willson Peale. He was an African Muslim, manumitted slave of the Beall family, who owned stock in Columbia Bank.

Older Publications:

38-1 February 1995:
The Underground Railroad in Montgomery County, by Anthony M. Cohen. Montgomery County slaves were aided in their escape to freedom through various routes by county abolitionists. Sandy Spring Quakers and residents provided one safe haven.

35-1 February 1992:
Black Builders in Montgomery County 1865-1940, by Eileen McGuckian. African American
Communities: Big Woods, Dickerson, Mt. Ephraim at Sugarloaf Mountain, Sandy Spring and Haiti in Rockville. Alfred Ross house; Martin’s Lane; Beall slaves; Reuben Hill house; Kleindienst Hotel; Jerusalem Church; A.M.E. Churches; Scotland A.M.E. Church; John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church; Clarksburg; Sharp Street School.

32-1 February 1989:
Haiti, A Historic Black Community, by Eileen McGuckian. Samuel Martin and Martins Lane; the Beall family; slavery; Alfred Ross family; Beall estate in Rockville.

31-1 February 1988:
Emory Grove, A Black Community of Yesteryear. Camp meetings; Washington Grove; United Methodist Church; African American post-Civil War population; early education opportunities; Supreme Court Decision of 1954; Early African American families: Duvall, Dorsey, Lancaster, Frazier; Church music; Emory Grove Road; Edward Ulysses Taylor; Rosenwald Schools; Edith Throckmorton; Longview Elementary School; Proprietors of small businesses; Johnson Tavern; Post World War II opportunities; First night Baseball.

27-3 August 1984:
A Survey of Slave Housing in Montgomery County, by Mark Walston. Slavery, population 1790 through 1860; The Ridge; Beall-Dawson House; Susanna Farm near Dawsonville; Needwood Mansion; Edgehill; Oakley near Brookeville; Darnall farm; Frederick Poole Farm near Poolesville; Riverview near Seneca; Mount Carmel; East Oaks; Annington.

24-2 May 1981:
Richard Montgomery High School, by E. Guy Jewell. Lincoln High school; African-American
education; Manual training school 1901; public schools; Governor Warfield; fairgrounds;
Rockville Athletic Association; athletics interschool.

23-2 May 1980:
Noah Edward Clarke, Crusader for Black Education, by Nina Honemond Clarke. Free black settlements; early life; Clarke’s musical ability, education, marriage and family.

15-5 November 1972:
Maryland Methodism and the Jerusalem United Methodist Church, Rockville, Maryland, c.1780-1915, by Eileen McGuckian. Early trustees and preachers; circuit riders; slavery; Methodist Church discipline & schism; names of African-American families.

To Order Physical Copies of Current or Past Issues:

Printed copies of the Montgomery County Story may be purchased in the Museum Shop, or ordered by phone, mail or email.  Issues dated prior to 2010 are $3 per issue. Starting in fall 2010, issues are $5 each (double sized/color). Shipping is $1.50 for the first issue plus .50 for each additional issue in the same order.