In 1864, the era of the sharecropper and tenant farmer began at Hampton, and continued into the 1930s. Black and white tenant farmers paid the Ridgely family to rent portions of land on the estate. They paid their rent not in cash but in part of their crop. Tenant farmers, including formerly enslaved families, moved into what had been Slave Quarters.
Farm Managers replaced Overseers (though they were sometimes still referred to as "overseer") and lived in the Lower House. The Farm Manager set rents, provided seed, and regulated the day to day operation of the Home Farm. Just as in the earliest days at the furnace, African American men now sometimes held this position.
Read about Dorothy Norris Croner to learn more about life in the days of tenant farming.