A working 1770’s plantation with laborers and gentry from every corner of the known world. This was Carroll’s Hundred, once within walking distance of what is now the Inner Harbor. Our mission is to rescue its lost history — the authentic story of race and ethnicity in Baltimore — and to show its ties to a mercantile economy founded on iron, slavery, and unpaid labor. Only then can we understand tiny Baltimore Towne, the origins of its strengths and weaknesses, and how it became the diverse, post-industrial city of today.
Our story focuses on the pioneers of that economy — particularly African enslaved people, European indentured workers, Native Americans, West Indians, small farmers, craftspeople, and the gentry who worked them. The Carroll’s and their diverse labor force were culturally and economically interdependent. The family of Charles and Margaret Carroll could not have survived and prospered without the vital support of the Harden, Lynch, Hall, Coney, and other enslaved families.
This was not New England, not the Southern Low Country, but the Upper Chesapeake, with Carroll’s Hundred and its iron foundry at the center of one of the greatest technological experiments in human history — the mass production of goods. Long before the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century, Carroll’s Hundred-on-Patapsco and its people were at the forefront of this enterprise. It’s past time we celebrated their achievements!