Author and researcher Jacqueline Simmons Hedberg will present “Plantations, Slavery and Freedom on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Heritage Museum and Gardens of Dorchester, 1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, Maryland.

Hedberg has familial ties to southern Dorchester County. Since her retirement from teaching history, she has devoted her time to researching Hoopers Island and family connections.

African Americans, enslaved and free, were vital to the economy of the Eastern Shore of Maryland before the Civil War. Maryland became a slave society in colonial days when tobacco ruled. Some enslaved people, like Anthony Johnson, earned their freedom and became successful farmers.

After the Revolutionary War, others were freed by masters disturbed by the contradiction between liberty and slavery. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman escaped on the Eastern Shore and devoted their lives to helping other enslaved people with their words and deeds.

Hedberg uses local records, including those of her ancestors, to tell a tale of slave traders and abolitionists, kidnappers and freedmen, cruelty and courage.

Open to the public with a $3 charge for those not holding membership with the Dorchester County Historical Society. She will autograph and sell books that day.

For more, call 410-228-7953 or email