Most white colonists regarded slavery quite differently than the way we do today. They did not necessarily view slavery as right or wrong. For them, slavery was a social condition like servitude and monarchy; people were born rich or born poor, born to rule or born to serve. In fact, slavery has occurred throughout history and was even mentioned in religious texts, like the Bible and the Koran.

Water Buckets

Meet Jacob

Jacob Sweeping
Sweeping would have been a chore
for a young slave.

The Brown family was able to purchase a number of enslaved workers to assist them with their businesses. One was Jacob, a seven-year-old boy of African descent. We do not know anything about Jacob's parents, or if he had any brothers or sisters. We do know that they did not live with him at the Brown house. Slavery separated many children from their parents and made family life extremely uncertain. It is possible that Jacob had kin in town. While we cannot be sure, Jacob was likely born in the colonies, rather than in Africa. He no doubt missed his family terribly.

This project was developed through a Teaching American History Grant partnership between Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Historic London Town and Gardens.