In the year 1860, the Maryland census recorded the number of occupants as “Whites”, “Free Blacks” and “Slaves” in each of the 22 jurisdictions. Howard County had a total population of 13,338, and the percentage of Free Blacks was 10.4% of that total. 21.4% were counted as being enslaved. In the state, Howard County ranked as 9th for the highest percentage of enslaved. Compared to the rest of the state, Howard County was #15 out of 22 for the highest percentage of Free Blacks living within its borders. To reduce Howard County or Ellicott City before the Civil War to be a story of white enslavers and/or the enslaved would NOT do justice to history. This website contains “ECBlackHistory”, but that does not mean it will only contain the names of Black people from the county’s past. What it does mean is that due to the story of Black Howard Countians being profoundly missing from historical accounts of the county, they will be emphasized here and given center stage because of that. The percentages above tell why.

It’s not as if there weren’t already Free Blacks residing in the area when it was still part of Anne Arundel County. Matilda Johnson, Stephen Brown, Charlotte Dorsey, Aaron Jason, Lott Johnson, and Abraham Dorsey are just a few names of Free Blacks that appear with their own households on the 1840 census. Benjamin Thomas was recorded in proximity to Deborah Disney, as was Lily Brown and George Johnson. In 1850, Solomon Dorsey, Larkin Murphy, Louisa Simpson and Michael Scott were some of the Free Black household names recorded on the census. Michael was 70, and was reported to have 16 year old twins (a boy and a girl) in his household. Maybe his.

Did you catch the household under Michael’s where it reads “Farmer & Plant”? Planter was a term typical used for someone who was controlling a plot of land that was known to be creating something for sale. There were many farmers, and not as many planters. Reuben and Bela Warfield were both planters. In Howard, there was William Fisher, “Farmer + Plant” who was a Free Black.

There are many unexplored stories that involve the time before the Civil War when Howard County wasn’t yet a county. 1860 is the start year of inquiry for this website, but other earlier history will be pulled in when appropriate. Just because it was the time before the enslaved were freed post Civil War, doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting stories to be examined and told that could interest and entertain audiences of all races and ethnicities.

Here’s who was recorded as being in the Howard County Jail:

John CramblottWhiteAge 25Carpenter
Joseph CramblottWhite18Laborer
Isaac DayWhite20Shoe Maker
Henry MyersWhite25Farmer
Solomon SmithBlack67Laborer
Hettie SmithMulatto19Laborer

Did you know there were at least 14 shoe makers in 1860 Ellicott City? Most of them were NOT owners of Real Estate in 1860. Only those with an asterisk after their name were. If they were born elsewhere, or that was provided, it is recorded here:

George HayworthWhiteAge 58
Jeremiah JonesWhite37
James WarringtonWhite28Delaware
John RayWhite40
John R. WalkerWhite46
John LillyWhite29
Eli JonesWhite41
George JacksonWhite32England
Charles StockmanWhite39
Thomas DuffyWhite36
David Feelmeyer*White51
Michael Connoly White40
Beal Helms*White45
Peter JacksonBlack62
Adam MeadsWhite53Pennsylvania

Butchers. (real estate owners with asterisk)

William H. ScottWhite37
Conrad BarrettWhite22Germany
Henry SomervilleWhite22
Ephram Gallagher*White42
Edward GallagherWhite28
Richard MorrisonWhite31

Bakers. (real estate owners with asterisk)

Christopher Harris*White70Ireland
M. Kuhn*White45Germany
Edward NorrisWhite 30
Earnest HartmanWhite27Hess Castle, Germany

Also in Ellicott City (not a complete list, randomly selected) were people like: (note: real estate owners have asterisks after their name)

John Schofield*White34Newspaper publisherEngland
Charles MakinsonWhite24Carriage Maker
Nathaniel C. BrooksWhite32Post MasterEngland
John Veith*White33Professor of MusicBavaria, Germany
Sybranus Sykes*White44DentistBavaria, Germany
Norris StarkweatherWhite 43ArchitectVermont
Samuel R. Powell*White54ArchitectNew Jersey
Isaac J. Martin*White 44DruggistNew Jersey
William VinkWhite73Paper Maker
Henery Greary*White70Piano Fork MakerBrunswick, Germany
John OldfieldWhite24Pump MakerPennsylvania
Thomas MitchellWhite28Physician
William Denney* White64Physician
William Thomas*White60DairymanEngland
Simon StarkWhite66ClothierBavaria, Germany
Charles Keahl White50ProfessorGermany
Abraham BrewerBlack75Wood Sawyer
Jane BostonBlack35Cook at Groves Hotel
Shadric HallBlack35Coachman at Patapsco Female Institute
M. GatoWhite52BarberItaly
Catherine AskeyWhite48Nurse

People like those listed above hired from a large population of Black and Mulatto washerwomen. Note: Understand that the ability to charge wages for things that some in the County were getting FREE from those they enslaved, was momentous for those who could!

Elizabeth RyanAge 29
Mary Green30
Louisa Wilson29
Jane Brown25
Phebe Gibson30
Mariah Hall42
Mary Hall18
Mary Dent30
Dinah E. Hall30
Rebecca Hall29
Martha Brown24
Jesse Neals25
Mary Hopkins 50
Elizabeth Jones45
Debby Porter25
Mary Sauls23
Annie Howard35
Caroline Snowden25
Priscilla Tiler44
Priscilla Todd50
Sophia Brown21
Nackie Green70
Kitty Madden35
Rachel Williams75
Achsah A Barney30

There were at least two White women recorded as washerwomen:

Mary HildtAge 28Baden, Germany
Annie Hallowhaus28Ireland

Servants in 1860 Ellicott City. If you think there were only Black/Mulatto servants, you’d be wrong:

Mary Bessler Age 20WhiteCounted as resident in John Veith (professor) household, fr Germany
Maria J Jordan11Black“ “in Thomas Isaac (carpenter) household
Lizzie Hall17Blackin Annie E Nowland household
Jefferson Davis75Blackin William HG Dorsey (attorney) household
William Dorsey35Black“ “
Rachal Berry25Mulatto*lived in own home
Sarah Hollins22Whitein Elizabeth Tillman (retired) household
Rachel Linn16Mulattoin Charles A Reid (Methodist Clergyman) household
Biddy Baniker25Whitein James Gaw (master cabinet maker) household, from Ireland
Rachel Milly 15Blackin Edward Talbott (lumber merchant) household
Rachel Williams9Blackin John Gaw (machinist) household
Georgeanna Scott17Blackin Samuel Radcliff (house painter) household
Harriet Linn20Mulattoin William Timanus (butcher and farmer) household
Cynthia Budd27Blackin Isaac Strawbridge (had boarding establishment) household
Catherine McSuley40Whitein John A. Foley (Roman Catholic clergyman) household
Ann Howard40Blackin William H. Worthington (CH Officer) household
Georgeana Rand20Blacksame
Mary E. Jackson22Blackin John A. Chew (clerk) household
Sarah Cavenough22Whitein Maria Spencer household, from Ireland
Mary Hopkins11Blackin John Day (stone mason) household
Stach Boon13Blackin David Feelmyer (shoemaker) household
Albert Boon9Black same
Rebecca Jones50Whitein John Rennells household
Mary E. Gambrill17Mulattoin Jane Walker household (& Jane Gaw)
Hannah Dent11Mulattoin John Mayfield (harness maker) household
Kate Delton11Blackin Samuel R. Powell (architect) household
Charlotte Dorsey6Blackin George E. Hess (harness maker) household
George Gully35Blackin Deborah Disney (Disney’s Tavern) household
Laura Fesler15Whitein William H Mathews (machinist) household
John Horton32WhiteFrom Prussia
Kitty Williams8Blackin William Scott (butcher) household
Catherine Myers13Mulattoin Richard Morrison (butcher) household
Laura Dyson12Mulattoin George Ellicott (farmer) household
George Dyson11Mulattosame
Grace Madden14Black*resided in own home
Emily Hardy16MulattoServant at Groves Hotel
Samuel Dent8MulattoServant at Groves Hotel
Jacob A. Hall17Blackin Dr. William Denney household
Kate Schillinger20Whitein Simon Stark (clothier) household, from Baden
Lemuel Povans45Blackin Henry R. Hazelhurst (B& O railroad engineer) household
Cora Gladden28BlackSame
Annie Hallowman28WhiteSame, from Ireland
Jane Hinson23Blackin E. P. Hayden house
R. Charley18BlackServant at Rock Hill Academy
James McPherson21BlackServant at Rock Hill Academy
Isaac Clark45BlackServant at Patapsco Female Institute
Caroline Clark35Blacksame
Nancy Goodwin22Blacksame
Maria Hall18Blacksame
George Hammond19Blacksame
George W. Neil22Blacksame
Charles Tyler15Blacksame

A few gardeners.

Adam HengelWhite41Bavaria
John McClaryWhite68
Frank DutchWhite33Prussia
Joseph DutchWhite68Prussia
James McKennaWhite50Ireland

A “cooper” was a person who made and repaired wooden barrels and tubs. There were a few, and one owned real estate:

Philip HildWhite36Darmstadt
Henry KinerWhite28Hess Castle, Germany
James EnnisWhite70Ireland
Adam AmenWhite27Hess Castle, Germany
Abraham PorterMulatto30
George Johnson*Mulatto61
John CoburnMulatto18(apprentice to George)

Children listed as working as factory hands (leaving off those 18+):

Sarah BurkWhiteAge 11
James BurkWhite8
Washington AtkinsonWhite14
Mary ConnolyWhite13
John ConnolyWhite8
Ann CobbWhite16
Ellen NeilWhite12
Emma Cramblit White13
Charles CramblitWhite10
Sophia CramblitWhite15
Louisa HornissWhite11
Hensetta HornissWhite14

Apprentice/mill hands:

John S. DolanWhite16Parents from Ireland
William W. JohnsonWhite21
George WilliamsMulatto12Mill hand to Thomas McCrea

Many people know these names, since their names can be found associated with buildings that have been historically preserved and featured via tourism channels (*note: these aren’t all of them, just some of the more well-known names). Most had substantial real estate holdings, according to the census taker. Nearly all were enslavers.

John S. Tyson*Age 60Attorney6 enslaved in 1860 household
Dr. William H. Worthington*49C.H. OfficerSought compensation for 6 enslaved in 1867
Francis M Hazelhurst*40Farmer4 enslaved in 1860 household
Oliver Tazewell*64Private6 enslaved in 1860 household
Barnard Fort*50Cabinet maker
Deborah Disney*60Private2 enslaved in 1860 household
George Ellicott*60Farmer2 enslaved on 1860 schedule, had in Mont Co also
William Timanus*50Farmer/Butcher1 enslaved in 1860 household

There were other residents that were associated with the 1860 Ellicott City post office division. Updates will be done to include the many laborers, stone masons, carpenters, house painters, store proprietors, teachers, etc as we hope to actually map it out and display it online. There were at least 28 African American households counted in the 1860 Ellicott City post office, all but one were renters which as can be seen from the data above was NOT uncommon. The households were headed by:

Sarah CastleBlackAge 24Resided alone
Elizabeth RyanBlack29Resided with 3 others
Mary GreenBlack30Resided with 3 others
Louisa WilsonBlack 29Resided with 3 others
Jane BrownBlack 25Resided with 1 other
Phebe GibsonBlack30Resided with 4 others
John DavisBlack40Resided with 3 others
Mariah HallMulatto42Resided with 8 others
William BerryBlack30Resided with 3 others
Mary DentBlack 30Resided with 1 other
Dinah E HallBlack30Resided with 8 others
Reuben DorseyBlack30Resided with 6 others
Daniel HopkinsBlack50Resided with 3 others
Abraham BrewerBlack75Resided with 3 others
George WhiteMulatto54Resided with 2 others
Peter JacksonBlack62Resided with 2 others
Elizabeth JonesBlack45Resided with 2 others
Abraham PorterMulatto30Resided with 5 others
Annie HowardMulatto 30Resided alone
Caroline SnowdenMulatto 25Resided with 2 others
George Johnson*Mulatto 61Resided with 4 others
London TilerBlack45Resided with 5 others
Dreana NeilBlack50Resided with 2 others
Mary GaitherMulatto 60Resided with 1 other
Bazil ToddBlack55Resided with 6 others
Sophia BrownBlack21Resided with 6 others
Kitty MaddenBlack35Resided with 5 others
John BarneyBlack 34Resided with 6 others


What was life like in Ellicott City before the Civil War? The free Black and Mulatto children listed in households not their own…where in the county did their parents live? How did the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery in Maryland affect the Ellicott City population? We will be attempting to track families (free and newly freed), changes in Black/Mulatto socioeconomic indicators such as home ownership and profession, and physical movement from 1860-1930. We’re looking to map it all out eventually. Being the county seat, it represented the hub of life for many due to commerce, the railroad station, the courthouse and the jail. Some moved out of the county completely, while others moved to other parts of it. Somewhere past the middle of the time span in 1901, Samuel F. Whipps (father of 26 children) was telling a reporter that he was going to file suit to eject Negros from the cemetery or dig up the graves himself if they didn’t do it! Did he?? We hope to learn.

The Sun, March 4, 1901