Hampton National Historic Site
Backstory and Context
In colonial days, Hampton labor force included indentured servants, immigrants mainly form the British Isles who labored for a period of years until their passage fee to America was paid back. In addition there were free artisans and tradesmen, convict laborers, and during the Revolution, British prisoners of war. Families, including children, worked together. Most of these people eventually had some degree of social mobility--unlike enslaved people. Charles Ridgely Carnan freed most of his slaves upon his death, but the era of forced servitude at Hampton remained until Maryland state law ended the practice in 1864--in the midst of the Civil War.