Freedom Seekers at Georgia Plantation
—National Underground Railroad-Network to Freedom —
When it first went into operation, the Baltimore Iron Works had a labor force of eighty-nine individuals. Forty-seven were white (thirty-eight were free men on wages, nine were indentured servants) and forty-two were enslaved African Americans. At the height of its development in 1763 the Baltimore Iron Works owned one hundred and fifty enslaved African Americans and hired still more free African Americans. The enslaved workers performed a wide spectrum of jobs within ironworks, many of them skilled. By 1737 the forty-three enslaved individuals at the Baltimore Iron Works were listed as performing many duties including miners, colliers, woodchoppers, farm hands, cooks and at least one skilled blacksmith.
Conditions for the workers, both enslaved and free were far from desirable. The Baltimore Ironworks periodically suffered from food shortages for the hands, at least during the late 1760’s and early 1770’s. In 1777 one manager wrote that
Throughout the mid 1700’s Charles Carroll posted several ads in the Pennsylvania Gazette, for runaway enslaved men, indentured servants and convict laborers. It appears that planning and group efforts were often involved as most of the runaway postings indicate the escape of multiple individuals simultaneously along with the theft of horses food and supplies.
The explosive growth of Baltimore’s free African American community from a few hundred in 1790 to more than 10,000 by 1820 played a role in the evolving pattern of runaway destinations. Constituting a majority of Baltimore’s African Americans after 1810, free people of color could ally with runaways, harbor them or provide other services. In addition there were many religious and abolitionist groups active in the city that provided support.
Two documented instances of Charles Carroll posting ads for enslaved individuals who had runaway from the “subscriber” (Charles Carroll) are in the museum collection.
Individual Maryland freed, or manumitted,
Prospective manumitters also freed their enslaved individuals by will once the state lifted its prohibition against the practice in 1790. The will of Margaret Carroll, the Barrister’s widow in 1817, is a perfect example of this trend as its terms state that: I hereby devise all my negroes and slaves To Mr. Henry Brice and Tench Tilghman, my Executors, in trust that they will set them all free in such ages, and on such terms as they deem best under all circumstances, having a view to a provision for the comfortable support of the aged and infirm with which duty my Executors are charged, if either decline acting or die, I vest all these powers in the acting or surviving executor.
One specific enslaved person, “my Negro boy Tom” was singled out in the will to be given to Charles Ross with a specific time period for his delayed manumission “til the boy arrives to thirty one years old, when he shall be free.”
Slavery at Mount Clare-
Charles Carroll, and his wife’s family the Tilghmans, were among the
Documentation on the life of slaves at Mount Clare during the Colonial and early-Federal period (1760-1817) of Charles and Margaret Carroll has been found in letters, wills and local newspapers.
Mount Clare July 10, 1780---RAN away, from the subscriber’s island plantation, at the mouth of the Gunpowder, about the beginning of this month, a mulatto slave called JACK LYNCH, about 35 years of age, a short well set fellow, has a down look, is an artful rogue, speaks slow, and appears to be very mild. Had on an took with him, a blue broadcloth coat, country cloth jacket, one Irish linen shirt, one pair of country linen trousers, a pair of half-worn shoes with buckles, and old country made hat, and has lately had a breaking out on his head. Whoever brings him to the subscriber, or secures him, so that we may get him again, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges. CHARLES CARROLL
Location. 39° 16.746′ N, 76° 38.598′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Camp Carroll (a few steps from this marker); Mt. Clare (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Mt. Clare (within shouting distance of this marker); 1917 – 1918 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Clare, the Georgia Plantation (approx. 0.2 miles away); Carroll Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Gas, Dredges, Beer, and Pianos (approx. half a mile away); Carroll Park at the Golf Course (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 19, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 601 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 19, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.