top of page

MoCoLMP Tours Hampton Plantation and the East Towson Freedom Trail

The Hampton National Historic Site was a Maryland plantation owned by generations of the Ridgely family, including Maryland governor, Charles Carnan Ridgely. By the 1800s over 500 enslaved persons worked 25,000 acres of farms, orchards, quarries, and ironworks.

On Sunday, April 21, MoCoLMP joined the Families, Farming, and Freedom tour of the overseer's house, the mule barn, the dairy, and two different styles of slave quarters (seen above, middle bottom photo). The stone slave quarters could be seen by the Governor and his guests. The log cabins, however, were not visible from the mansion. The ironworks, which profited from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and pig iron export, and funded much of the mansion, grounds, and the Ridgely family's elaborate lifestyle, are now gone.

We learned that the plantation was known for its cruelty—it was close to Baltimore City, which had a large population of free Black persons, and was on the way to northern states for freedom-seekers. The Ridgely owners and overseers were particularly harsh to the enslaved population, believing that then they would be too afraid to escape. Despite this, there are records of over 80 enslaved freedom-seekers at Hampton Plantation.

Historic East Towson is Baltimore's oldest African-American descendant community, whose ancestors are Hampton's emancipated population. The trail (now available online), will connect historic sites such as the plantation, Goucher College (formerly part of the plantation and now committed to the Hallowed Ground Project), the African-American school built in 1945 (now East Towson Carver Community Center), key African-American churches, and other sites. Of note is the lynching memorial for Mr. Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old Black child who was lynched in 1885 in front of the Old Jail.


bottom of page