NPS Hampton NHS
  • Home
  • keypad
  • Downloads
  • Return to Portal
  • Dorothy Norris Croner

    Dorothy Norris Croner lived in this tenant farmer’s building as a little girl around 1917 and the descendants of her family are part of the African American community of Towson today. Her father worked as the dairyman on the estate. Seven people lived in this house--her parents, baby sister, and three brothers. In an interview conducted in 1998, Ms. Croner referred to the Farm Manager as the overseer. She remembered:


    "John Humphrey, he was the overseer, the colored overseer, he was a slave."


    John Humphrey had been born enslaved at Hampton in 1857. During the Civil War in spring of 1863, he, his mother Mary, uncle George, and other family members sought their freedom but were quickly captured and returned to Hampton. The next year, Emancipation came to Maryland and John was granted his freedom. In the late 1870s, John came back to the Hampton farm as a day laborer and became the Farm Manager in 1907. He held the position into the 1920s.


    Walk down to the Dairy to learn about the men and women, such as Dorothy's father, who ran this commercial enterprise.