Hampton National Historic Site can best be understood through the story of its people—those who labored across centuries, and a family who gained wealth, status, and influence from that labor over seven generations. Engage with personal stories from the communities that labored at the ironworks, in the fields, on the docks and aboard ships, in gardens and orchards, and inside the mansion making Hampton a microcosm of the story of America. Enslaved African Americans, indentured servants, free artisans, tradesmen, convict laborers and British prisoners of war all worked on a plantation that was both an industrial site and an agricultural enterprise.
The Ridgely family, who owned the estate, featured many family members who were accomplished in a wide variety of endeavors and interests. This included a governor of Maryland, a horticulturist who transformed Hampton’s garden and grounds, a missionary who founded a school for young women in Africa, an artist and antiquarian who researched and wrote books on Maryland history and architecture, a civic leader who founded organizations to assist the impoverished women and children in Baltimore City, and an internationally renowned diplomat who helped to negotiate the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I.
Hampton was the second largest slave plantation in Maryland. Learn about the struggle, hardships, and lives of the enslaved.
The Ridgely Family owned and managed the Hampton Estate for almost 200 years. Explore their impact on history!
Indentured servants made up a significant portion of the Hampton labor force at one time. Read about their stories on the plantation.
Last updated: June 25, 2020