Page 27 - 2022 June/July Newsletter
P. 27

Page 27                                                               Southern Pennsylvania District

                                      PUBLICITY for district; article by Jeff Bach

                          Brethren Connection to Former Slaves at Antietam Battlefield

                         On Saturday, June 11 at 1 pm a National Historic Landmark plaque will be
                 dedicated at Tolson’s Chapel in Sharpsburg, MD (111 High Street). Former slaves
                built the church in 1866. It served as a Freedmen’s Bureau school for Black children
                starting in 1868. One of the trustees, Hilary Watson, was a slave to Brethren farmer,

                   John Otto, until 1864. Nancy Camel, a former slave and member of the Manor
                                    Church of the Brethren, donated a pulpit Bible.
                       The Friends of Tolson Chapel, a local history group, have worked since 2006
               to restore the church and document its history. Hilary Watson and his wife, Christina,
               are buried in the cemetery behind the church, which has been closed since 1998. This
                building is significant to the national history of the US. It also has an important, but
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