About Hammond-Harwood House

Mission: The mission of the Hammond-Harwood House Association is to preserve and to interpret the architecturally significant Hammond-Harwood House Museum and its collection of fine and decorative arts, and to explore the diverse social history associated with its occupants, both free and enslaved, for the purposes of education and appreciation.

The house located at 19 Maryland Avenue was begun in 1774 by planter Matthias Hammond. Ardently favoring the cause for freedom, Hammond was elected to the Maryland government in 1773. He began working with architect William Buckland on plans for an elegant townhouse in Annapolis. The work was undertaken by crews of indentured artisans and enslaved men under Buckland’s direction.

Hammond never lived at the house, remaining at his plantation in Gambrills, Maryland. In the early 19th century, the mansion was home to the Pinkney and then the Loockerman families. For the first half of the 19th century, both families held enslaved men, women, and children who performed domestic work – cooking, cleaning, childcare, etc.—at the luxurious home. Loockerman descendants lived at the Hammond-Harwood House until the last surviving member died in 1924.

Through the Civil War and World War I, the house remained an enduring fixture in Maryland’s capital city. After the death of Hester Ann Harwood in the 1924, the building’s future was uncertain. St. John’s College purchased the site in 1926 and instituted a decorative arts program, the first of its kind in the country. The economic woes of the 1930s, however, forced the College to search for new owners. Finally, in 1940, the Hammond-Harwood House was purchased by the newly formed Hammond-Harwood House Association. The museum collection of fine and decorative art, the exemplary architecture, and social history of the inhabitants enslaved and free are presented through tours and programs open to the public.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

The Hammond-Harwood House Association is committed to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Through our tours, programs and events, we are dedicated to presenting the site’s history clearly and without bias as the defining feature of our educational mission. In all activities and operations we are dedicated to embracing equity and non-discrimination regardless of race, religious creed, color, age, gender expression, sexual orientation, class, language, and/or ability.  We continue the effort to uncover and interpret the lives of the enslaved people associated with the Hammond-Harwood House.

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