Slavery at Hammond-Harwood House

The museum is in process of uncovering the lives of the individuals enslaved at Hammond-Harwood House. Documents including wills, letters, and records of lawsuits provide helpful information. According to the census records, up to seven women, men, and children were enslaved here in the nineteenth century. This exhibit is the summation of what scholars have uncovered thus far.

At Hammond-Harwood House we are committed to increasing our understanding and our ability to more fully interpret the lives of the free and enslaved inhabitants of this historic site.

The history of Hammond-Harwood House illustrates the depth of complicity in our national attitudes toward race. Racism was born so early; it’s been held in our consciousness. This beautiful house was built with the labor of enslaved men, some of them highly skilled. The families that lived within its walls exploited men, women, and children to perform the work that enabled the gracious life aspired to by the 19th century elite class. Children of enslaved women were coveted additions to the wealth of the slaveholder’s household. Their collective and individual traumas were neither acknowledged nor mediated. As a democracy, we’re supposed to be flexible in our approaches to problems: if something doesn’t work, try a different way. Vote in a new leader, protest, advocate, write a new law, and amend the Constitution. But as a democracy we’re also supposed to hold firm to certain tenets that our founders identified as both universal and essential to being human. The ugly history of slavery should have taught us. At Hammond-Harwood House we’re committed to educating ourselves and presenting history to our visitors.

We have so much to learn.

Read the exhibit panels and learn more individual stories

click to enlarge panel

We Want To Thank...

Thank you to the individuals and organizations contributing to the research, development, and presentation of the exhibit “Slavery at the Hammond-Harwood House.”


Annapolis Rotary Club Arts Council of Anne Arundel County

Cathy Randall

Dr. Christopher Mielke

Homewood Museum

Janice Hayes-Williams

Jean Russo

Legacy of Slavery in Maryland Maryland State Archives

Maryland Historical Society

The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum

Willa Banks

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