Henry White

A historic black and white photograph of Henry White.
Henry White


Didy’s oldest son, Henry White (1850-1927), spent much of his early life at Hampton in the company of his widely-admired and gracious grandmother, Eliza Ridgely, and much of his adolescence in Europe being schooled by and traveling with his pious and rather formidable mother. This unconventional education in manners and morals prepared him for a distinguished career in diplomacy.

Often referred to as America’s ‘first career diplomat,’ Henry spent 30 years in the U.S. Diplomatic Service, serving as First Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in London, and as Ambassador to both Italy and France before retiring in 1909. Ten years later, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as a member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris to end the First World War in 1918-19. At the urging of his family, he wrote a Memoir in 1925 in which he described his early years at Hampton with his Ridgely relatives. Hampton’s archives now contain nearly seventy linear feet of his and his family’s private papers including voluminous correspondence, financial records, albums, and photographs.




Learn More

  • The Ridgely Family of Hampton
    The Ridgely Family

    The Ridgely Family owned and managed the Hampton Estate for almost 200 years. Explore their impact on history!

  • 4 generations of ladies and girls of the Ridgely family on the north portico of Hampton mansion, NPS
    The Ridgelys of Hampton

    Learn about the history of the Ridgely family at Hampton.

  • Living Historian demonstrates the 19th century technique for harvesting corn.
    Free Black Laborers

    Free Black Laborers worked at Hampton for various reasons. A good amount did to eventually purchase their family members.

  • Enslaved workers working on the plantation farm by the overseer's house and slave quarters.
    Slavery at Hampton

    From the colonial period through 1864, the Ridgelys enslaved over 500 people. Enslaved persons, from young children to the elderly

  • Drawing of people working on a dock
    Indentured Servants at Hampton

    Indentured servants were not willing laborers and the working conditions at Northampton Furnace was grueling.

  • The Cedar of Lebanon covered in snow, Winter 2020. NPS
    Travels of the Ridgelys

    The wealth of the Ridgely family allowed for many extensive world travels.

Last updated: April 2, 2024

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Towson, MD 21286


410-962-4290 (option 2)

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