MARYLAND SLAVERY
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MARYLAND SLAVERY: An Introduction


MARYLAND is highlighted here. Click the above map to view large U.S.A. map.

BRIEF HISTORY

Founding of Maryland
Maryland developed from a tract of country belonging to the original grant of Virginia. George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, was looking for land with a similar climate to that of England on which to establish his new colony. He put his sights on obtaining land in Virginia, parts of which had already been colonized.

Tobacco
Tobacco was the main export (corn was second), tied planters to others in the Atlantic region, and provided the main means of wealth and prosperity, and life choices. Tobacco was the only crop having a fully-developed market that extended to the Chesapeake. The market included English and Dutch merchants who had been trading with colonists in Virginia.

African Import and Slavery
It is believed that approximately 20 Africans arrived in Port Comfort in late August 1619 on a Dutch ship and that by the 1650's the numbers had grown between 300-400. It is assumed that they probably arrived in small groups, particularly during intense Dutch trade activity in the 1640's and 1650's. The origins of slaves were diverse, coming from Africa, by way of England, from the British Caribbean, and a substantial number from Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Although there were places along the Bay where English colonists and African-Americans resided congenially side-by-side as near equals, it is certain that most Africans were slaves and most Europeans assumed that this arrangement was appropriate for them. It is speculated that all "blacks" probably arrived as slaves but that some were freed and all enjoyed rights that slaves in other states did not. Africans were able to become assimilated into the colonies by learning English, becoming Christians, and mastering work routines of the Europeans. Life for slaves changed drastically in the 1660's as a result of legislation in both Maryland and Virginia. As European servants became scarce and expensive, and subsequently as African labor dominated the labor force, a caste system came into effect, sealing the fate of slaves and removing opportunities for freedom and advancement. Even if they were freed, there were significant declines in their freedom, leaving them nothing more than slaves without masters. (Menard 1984) Slaves who arrived in Maryland in the 1670's would be slaves for life. They would face a harsh environment in which they were subject to volatile diseases, a shortage of women resulting in low reproduction, abusive masters, isolation from other Africans, and restriction of mobility. Regardless, they eventually improved their lives and by the 1720's, there were enough native-born African-Americans in Maryland to create its own slave population. From this grew a distinctive American culture for Africans.

References
--Early Immigration to Maryland in the Colonial Era: St. Mary's City http://www.clis.umd.edu/~mddlmddl/791/communities/html/

LINKS
MD Genweb: General Maryland genealogical information.




MARYLAND SLAVE WORKPLACE LIST
Listed by County and Workplace Title Followed by Owner(s). Workplaces with unknown titles are listed as the owner's name (itallicized, first name in parenthesis).

ANNE ARUNDEL CO.

Doughoregan Manor (The House of Kings): Carroll
Homewood Plantation: Carroll
(Stephen L.) Lee Plantation: Lee

Poplar Knowle: Talbott
Whitehall Plantation: Ridout

DORCHESTER CO.

(Edward) Brodess Farm: Brodess
(Anthony) Thompson Plantation: Thompson

PRINCE GEORGE'S CO.

Woodlawn Plantation: Beall

ST. MARY'S CO.

Cole Plantation: Cole

TALBOT CO.

Auld Farm: Auld
Holmes Hill Farm: Anthony
Lloyd Plantation: Lloyd

WORCESTER CO.

(John) Dale Plantation: Dale

 


MARYLAND SLAVERY RESOURCES AND RECORDS