Two upcoming events will highlight recent discoveries at Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, MD.
Towson, MD—Previously untold stories about the journey from slavery to freedom in Maryland are coming to light thanks to a joint effort between the University of Maryland and the National Park Service, in collaboration with Towson University. Discoveries about the enslaved individuals who lived and worked at Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, MD will be presented over two days in October.
One of the most frequently asked questions from people visiting the grand Hampton Estate is, “Who were the people that were enslaved and what happened to them?” In an effort to answer this, the Hampton Ethnographic Team—a group of researchers from the University of Maryland, Towson University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Nanny Jack & Co. Archives, in partnership with the National Park Service—is tracing their lives from slavery, to freedom, to today. After two years of ethnographic study, painstakingly combing through archives and census records, and conducting in-depth interviews with descendants, the research team is now ready to reveal the rich histories of the enslaved individuals who once lived and worked on the opulent estate first built in 1790. This includes identifying several prominent public figures as descendants of Hampton’s former slaves.
“Whenever you see mindboggling wealth in the early republic, you have to know that slavery was behind it,” said Dr. Cheryl LaRoche from the University of Maryland Department of Anthropology, who leads the team. “Up until now, we knew next to nothing about the hundreds of enslaved people who lived and worked at Hampton. We’re so excited to finally be able to tell their stories and fill this hole in Maryland’s history books.”
The Hampton Ethnographic Team will present findings at the following upcoming events:
Friday, October 26: 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Linthicum Hall, Room 224
800 York Road, Townson, MD 21252
The Hampton Ethnographic Team will present findings and offer a period of discussion. The event is free and open to the general public, but reservations are encouraged. RSVP at tracinglivesatHampton@gmail.comor call 410-704-3199.
Saturday, October 27: 12:00 – 3:30pm
Hampton National Historic Site
535 Hampton Lane
Towson, MD 21286
Tours offered every half hour
Experience the recently uncovered stories of just a few of the hundreds of men and women who were enslaved at Hampton during the lifetime of Charles Carnan Ridgely (1760-1829), the 15th governor of Maryland, who owned the estate. Ridgely’s death in 1829 triggered either outright emancipation or a gradual freedom from slavery dependent on age. Living history interpreters in period attire and park rangers will present these stories throughout the park. Tickets are free and available at the Visitor Center on the day of the program. For parking information and directions, visit www.nps.gov/hamp.