Calvert County is renowned for its part in the War of 1812, particularly for the Barney Flotilla and the battles of St. Leonard Creek. This transfer of activity to Patuxent and Calvert Counties had a special significance for African-Americans, as it provided them with a path to freedom. In response, Colonel Richard Butler organized a national convention of African-American workers.
Each of these groups had a national government organization with local lodges in many states, including Calvert County, where generations of my own family were members. The Fishermen of Galilee, a benevolent society, was established in 1856 in Baltimore City, Maryland. Approximately 4,000 enslaved African-Americans from Chesapeake found freedom by escaping the British Army, 273 of whom were from Calvert County. In 1921, the Prince Frederick Central Industrial School was built on land purchased by Galilean fishermen, becoming the first Rosenwald school in Calvert County and the first school in the county to offer a high school curriculum to African-American students. During the 1960s, the Masons at Prince Hall in Calvert County were heavily involved in the civil rights movement. This period saw an increase in the number of cultural organizations available to African-Americans in Calvert County. Today, there are numerous cultural organizations available to African-Americans in Calvert County.
These include the Fishermen of Galilee, Prince Hall Masons, and other benevolent societies. These organizations provide a platform for African-Americans to come together and celebrate their culture and heritage. In addition to these organizations, there are also several educational institutions that cater to African-American students. The Prince Frederick Central Industrial School is one such institution that provides educational opportunities for African-American students. Other schools include the Calvert County Public Schools and the University of Maryland College Park. Cultural organizations are an important part of any community and can provide invaluable support for African-Americans living in Calvert County.
These organizations offer a space for members to come together and honor their culture and heritage while also providing educational opportunities for African-American students.