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Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums

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This is a contributing entry for Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
The German settlers that first purchased Rose Hill, the Hoffmans, built a log cabin on the property similar to this one. After they sold the property to Thomas Johnson it is believed it was converted into the quarters for at least some of the enslaved people on the property. Frederick County also had a large Free Black population. Many of them worked as laborers on plantations alongside those enslaved. At Rose Hill a man named Osborn Dorsey lived on the property as a free Black in the 1860s. He would have shared quarters like these with those enslaved by the Thomas family.

Advertisement of Grahame Property, 1825

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Advertisement, hiring out, 1805

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Enslaved women who lived here including Polly, Ann, Eliza, Sarah Ann, Hester Ann and Susan, had many skills that were monopolized by the Grahame family. Women who were skilled in sewing or cooking were seen as more valuable and marketable, a fact John Grahame used to his advantage in 1825 when he listed for sale several women who "are good housemaids, cooks and seamstrsses." Enslaved women who were skilled at sewing would have not only been expected to do simple sewing such as mending for the Grahame family, but at the same time she would have sewed her own clothing, clothing for other enslaved people, and her family. This marketability threatened the security of the enslaved women as her skills might increase her likelihood for being rented out or sold as was the case for the women enslaved by the Grahame family in 1805 and 1825 based on newspaper advertisements placed by John Grahame.