A Tobacco-based Ecomony
For more than 200 years, slave-based tobacco plantations dominated the economy of Prince George's County. After the county seat moved from Mount Calvert to Upper Marlboro in 1721, Mount Calvert was the center of a large tobacco plantation. The brick plantation house was built by John Brown in 1789.
African-American slaves tended livestock, planted and harvested tobacco and other crops, and worked as servants and craftsmen at Mount Calvert throughout its history as a plantation. Their numbers ranged from 27 in 1799 to 51 in 1864. Most of their names are unknown to us today. We do know that in 1864, the childred of Charity Jackson, Chrstianna Harrison, Martha Crauford and Sarah Brent lived here.
Following the Civil War and freedom, African-Americans continued to live and work at Mount Calvert as laborers, servants and tenant farmers.
Unearthing the Past
Archaeologists have discovered evidence of slave quarters at Mount Calvert. Artifacts such as ceramics, pipe stems and historical documents help to fill gaps in our knowledge about the lives of enslaved and free African-Americans who lived and worked at Mount Calvert.