Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bowie in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park

 
 
Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, October 12, 2013
1. Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park Marker
Inscription. In 1673, Charles Calvert, the Third Lord Baltimore, granted 1000-acres of land to Thomas Sprigg. Sprigg named the property Northampton, located in what later became Prince George's County, and was home to the Sprigg family and their slaves and servants for nearly 200 years. In 1865, Dr. John Contee Fairfax (Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron) purchased Northamption. Some freed African Americans and their descendants remained at Northamption as tenant farmers until the 1930s. Today many descendants of those enslaved at Northamption still reside in Prince George's County. Together with archaeologists, a unique research program has been created combining the archaeology of the slave quarters with their oral histories.

Slaves and Tobacco
In Prince George's County, tobacco production relied on white=servant and black=slave labor. Tobacco was Colonial Maryland's largest export. Like other plantations, Northampton supplemented its tobacco economy by growing grains, livestock, and dairying. Because tobacco production depended on intensive labor, slave labor quickly grew in Prince George's County in the early 1700s. From 1704 to 1710 the enslaved population more than doubled from 436 to 1297. In the late 1700s, sixty percent of the population, where Northampton is located, was enslaved. By the 1800s, African Americans outnumbered
Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, October 12, 2013
2. Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park
whites in prince George's County.

Seeking Freedom
Over the years, some slaves at Northampton were granted freedom. In 1814, Osborn Sprigg;s will granted freedom to 13 enslaved people and their children. Of those freed, Tom and Frank were left livestock and property. Others, like Betsey, were left money while William was left clothing and furniture. However, not all slaves were set free and some who remained in bondage sought freedom through escape.

Runaway ads placed by Osborn Sprigg, Jr., in Washington, D.C's newspaper, The Cantinal of Liberty, for the capture of "Bob" and "Charles".

Samuel Sprigs, governor of Maryland from 1819 to 1822, inherited Northampton around 1814/1815 after the death of his uncle, Osborn Sprigg Jr. The 1840 U.S. Census recorded 117 slaves at Northampton. Some escaped and are documented in runaway ads.
 
Location. 38° 54.198′ N, 76° 49.009′ W. Marker is in Bowie, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Water Port Court. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10915 Water Port Court, Bowie MD 20721, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Seeking Freedom (here, next to this marker); Archaeology at the Frame Quarters (a few steps
Portrait of Samuel Sprigg (183-1855) image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 17, 2013
3. Portrait of Samuel Sprigg (183-1855)
Oil on canvas painted in 1824 by Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827)
Close-up of image on marker
Maryland State Archives
from this marker); Archaeology at the Brick Quarters (a few steps from this marker); Weary Warriors (within shouting distance of this marker); “Mount Lubentia” (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ridgley (approx. 2.1 miles away); Ridgeley Rosenwald School (approx. 2.6 miles away); Philip Reed (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Categories. African AmericansColonial Era
 
Portrait of Charles Calvert , Third Lord Baltimore<br>by Sir Godfrey Kneller image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 17, 2013
4. Portrait of Charles Calvert , Third Lord Baltimore
by Sir Godfrey Kneller
Close-up of image on marker
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Slaves owned by the Sprigg Family during the 1700s and 1800s image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 17, 2013
5. Slaves owned by the Sprigg Family during the 1700s and 1800s
Close-up of table on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 522 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 13, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3, 4, 5. submitted on November 3, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Paid Advertisement