This was the home of the Carroll family in the tidewater region of Maryland in the mid-1800's and it appears today much as it did in southern Maryland in the 1860s. It was the center of a Chesapeake plantation community that included more than 74 enslaved African Americans, who tended the house and the fields and kept the 700-acre plantation going through their involuntary labor.
The house, built in the 1840s, sheltered Susquehanna's owner, Henry Carroll, his wife Elizabeth, their six children, and a tutor. The enslaved African Americans living on the Susquehanna Plantation, aged 1 month to 59 years, comprised of 15 families.
Although tobacco was the plantations main crop in 1860, Henry Carroll also had about 200 acres in wheat. Tobacco growing was very wasteful because it quickly depleted the soil of vital nutrients. Soil exhaustion, combined with falling tobacco prices in the nineteenth century, made wheat a more attractive crop for planters like Henry Carroll. During the summer the field is planted with wheat in rotation with a Clover Timothy grass hay crop.
The log structure in the back is a
dairy house where slaves separated cream and made butter.
This is the only original outbuildings of the Susquehanna Plantation that survives. Ten milk
cows provided all of the familys needs for dairy products, plus some surplus for sale. 400
pounds of butter was produced in 1860.
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