Our African American Past
Map of The Restoration Plan for Carroll's Hundred
Beyond the pretty maps and colorful pictures is a largely unsolved mystery — the legacy of African American pioneers. We hope you will use this map and our other website tools as a springboard to help us reset the historical record. The Masterplan was developed in accordance with the City of Baltimore’s 2001 Masterplan for Carroll Park. The City’s plan designated the Carroll Park Foundation to manage the restoration of the park’s “Historic Zone”; it also recommended that Interpretation of the site emphasize the 18th-century plantation era. The Plan based its recommendation on the need to partner with a private organization that, the City believed, could sponsor development and management fundraising. Any restoration and reconstruction was to be based on non-conjectural findings of historical and archaeological research. The work of our Foundation was consistently based on these recommendations.
Carroll's Hundred Map Legend
In 1731, Charles Carroll, Barrister, and several partners established The Baltimore Company Iron Works on the Gwynns Falls, one-quarter mile west of the Mansion. Bog iron deposits in the area, convenience to a natural harbor for shipping, and an endless supply of timber to fuel the furnace provided essential natural resources to supply the British market with pig iron.
The 1756 Georgian-style home of Charles Carroll and Margaret Tilghman Carroll. Located within a quarter mile of Baltimore Towne to the east, Mount Clare, named for the Barrister’s sister, Mary Clare, was at the center of a 3,000-acre iron plantation operated by slave and indentured labor. It is the only remaining building of what once was a five-part “necklace” extending 350 feet across the top of the hill.
One of the four original “dependencies” attached to Mount Clare Mansion. The orangery, or greenhouse, was a stylish symbol of the Carrolls’ wealth. It’s ingenious heating system of wood-fired flues permitted the cultivation of tropical fruits such as oranges, lemons, even pineapples, in the cold of winter. Archaeology has shown that other small industries — sewing and button making — were located here, perhaps in an upstairs room.
The Kitchen Wing (no longer in existence) was a separate structure that, together with its mirror image, the Barrister’s Office Wing, formed the Mansion’s elegant forecourt or carriage entrance. One of the original four dependencies (all now razed) the kitchen, or possibly the remains of an earlier structure beneath it, is where an important quartz crystal with probable African religious significance was excavated in the early 1980s.
An 1862 Sachse & Co. lithograph is the only evidence of what would have been one of many structures on the plantation that housed at least 150 enslaved people. This one appears to have been of fieldstone construction similar to later quarters that still exist at Hampton Mansion in Baltimore County. Carroll’s Hundred had received state funding to archaeologically investigate this important evidence of Maryland’s early African American culture. Unfortunately this project was put on hold by Baltimore City in 2014.
The west orchard pictured above was one of two fan-shaped orchards that framed the east and west flanks of the hillside and its architectural showpiece — the Mansion — crowning the hilltop. Carroll’s Hundred with grants from The History Channel and The 1772 Foundation restored the west orchard with original varieties planted in the 1770s, including Esopus Spitzenberg, Roxbury Russet, and Albemarle Pippin. The orchards included vineyards and other fruit trees, like pears, peaches, and quince. This visual array of manicured falling gardens and beautiful orchards, lavish symbols of wealth and power, directed the eye to the apex of the hill and source of it all, Mount Clare Mansion and the family who owned it — the new American aristocracy.
This elegant garden created the formal public aspect of the estate with a view of the Patapsco. It was carved into the hillside forming a series of falling terraces with the uppermost being a bowling green. In the warmer months, Mrs. Carroll’s ornamental orange trees would be arranged in pots around the perimeter. Grass ramps descended to the lower terraces and geometric parterre gardens. In 1774, John Adams walked out from Baltimore Towne to see the renowned landscape, writing later in his journal, “It was the dead of winter, no verdure or bloom to be scaene [sic], but in the spring, I imagine it is very pretty”.
The 3,000 acres of land surrounding the formal core of the plantation filled a variety of purposes at different times depending on market conditions. The area pictured here was used as pasture for sheep or horses. Other areas were used to grow tobacco and wheat, or as a source of timber for the furnace. The plantation lands were considered natural resources used to produce specific products for English markets and to sustain the working population with food and other necessities — often meagerly, as records show.
- Slave Quarter Evidence:
Colored lithograph “CAMP CARROLL, BALTIMORE, MD. Lith.&Print. by E. Sachse & Co. 1862. Shows slave quarter evidence and multiple small dwellings around the mansion.
- Wikimedia: Camp Carroll, Baltimore, Md LCCN2003654992.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki File:Camp_Carroll,_Baltimore,_Md_LCCN2003654992.jpg]U”?YUh [“Attribution not legally required”]