Slaves and Slave Owners, Harford County, Maryland, 1814


Information Gleaned from 1814 Property Tax Assessments and Supplemented with Data from Subsequent Manumissions, Slave Sales and Runaway Notices

The Property Tax Assessments of Harford County, Maryland were compiled in February 1814 and listed the owners and valuated their land tracts, buildings, and slaves. This book alphabetically lists some 704 slave owners and identifies about 3,180 slaves. It has been annotated with information from subsequent slave manumissions and sales records, and early Harford County newspaper runaway notices. Research compiled by James E. Chrismer, Carolyn Greenfield Adams and the late Hunter C. Sutherland was also consulted.

After each slave owner’s name in this book is the district in which they lived and in many cases the names of their land tracts where the African Americans were enslaved and worked. This is followed by the slaves listed by sex and age, or age group. Sometimes the slaves’ names were enumerated by the tax assessor, along with remarks recorded about some of the slaves’ medical conditions. Most slaves at this time did not have last names, but a few did. Information gathered from manumissions and sales records oftentimes gave their first and last names, although it was very minimal. Some family relationships were occasionally noted as well.

It is interesting to mention that R. T. Woolfolk and Austin Woolfolk, notorious slave traders in Baltimore, were cited a number of times when slaves were purchased in Harford County and sent to Baltimore and south to Georgia.

Knowing how difficult it is to trace African American ancestry, it is hoped that this book will be helpful to those searching for their elusive ancestors in Harford County.

Henry C. Peden, Jr., M.A.

2022, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, 180 pp.