Josiah Henson Park is located on the historic Isaac Riley Farm in North Bethesda where the Reverend Josiah Henson lived and worked as a slave from 1795 to 1830. This park is a historic resource of local, state, national and international significance because of its association with Reverend Henson, whose 1849 autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Josiah Henson (June 15, 1789 – May 5, 1883) was an author, abolitionist, and minister. Born into slavery in Charles County, Maryland, he escaped to Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1830, and founded a settlement and laborer’s school for other fugitive slaves at Dawn, near Dresden in Kent County.
This episode is hosted by Dr. Cassandra Michaud, Senior History Specialist at the Montgomery Parks Department. We thank her and her team for taking the time to tell the incredible story of Josiah Henson to AITC and our constituents.