Agnes Kane Callum, member of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, was an African-American historian and genealogist from Baltimore. As an undergraduate at Morgan State University, she began researching her family’s roots in Southern Maryland. She found her paternal grandfather, Henry Kane, was born a slave at Sotterley Plantation. From then on, Agnes Callum took on an active and involved role with Sotterley’s preservation efforts. More than 100 years after her first ancestor came to Sotterley bondage, she was asked to serve on its Board of Trustees.
As a trustee, Agnes Callum became a major state-wide and national advocate for Sotterley, particularly for the preservation of its original, historic slave cabin, one of the last such structures in Maryland. Along with her co-trustee, John Hanson Briscoe (he a descendant of the family that owned Sotterley during the time the Kanes were slaves there, and a former Speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates), she spoke out for Sotterley and its role in preserving her ancestors’ history, eventually gaining national spotlight. Two of the many television shows she appeared on are linked below:
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