Anthony, Blacksmith

The absentee owners of the Baltimore Iron Works often quarreled and refused to send their quota of food and workers to the furnace. One plea from the manager Clement Brooke in 1775 admonished the partners, β€œI cannot do my job unless you send more slaves and more corn.” The workers and animals were starving.

Sometimes, the workers took matters into their own hands. In the spring of 1771, an indentured servant named Thomas Livy and an enslaved blacksmith named Anthony were jailed for robbing a store. They were caught with the goods, likely foodstuffs, in their possession. Overseer William Hammond was deeply disturbed at the prospect of running the forge without Anthony, one of his most skilled laborers.

"We shall feel the loss of Anthony’s time very much, I cannot tell how we can carry on the Forge business without him."

Overseer, William Hammond


Blacksmith from The Book of Trades, or, Library of the Useful Arts, 1815. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Libraries.