NPS Hampton NHS
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  • Stop 2: Log Cabin

    The six largest slaveholders in Baltimore County in the 18th century were the owners of ironworks. Owners who had been British sympathizers lost their lands and laborers after the Revolutionary War. The Ridgelys, who provided weapons and supplies to the Continental Army, purchased people already skilled as forge men, colliers, and carpenters for their Ironworks. As the Ridgelys' farming interests increased, more enslaved persons then moved back and forth from farm to furnace.


    Tax records from 1798 describe cabins of log construction at Hampton, one as small as 10x12 feet, another measured 22x32 feet. In the 19th century, there were a number of other quarters for the enslaved, all probably made of wood, on the Hampton Home Farm that have not survived. These buildings are documented by the detailed map of the core of the estate drawn in 1843 by surveyor Joshua Barney. Some of these quarters were near the Farm House, others were near the stables and service buildings east of the Mansion.


    Archeological investigations have not found any items from the days of slavery around this cabin, but newspaper fragments from 1862 were found in the mud and clay mixture between the pine log chinks. It is likely this building was moved or built from the salvaged remains of two previous slave quarters. After the joined structure was renovated and new siding was added in 1908, Charles Budd, the blacksmith, lived here.


    Walk to the Ash House to see how even ashes from the fire were repurposed in the Slave Quarters.