Baltimore was not a major fighting point during the civil war but played a strategic role because of its position. All troops and movement of men and material need to flow through Maryland to reach the war fronts of the south. Fort McHenry was the prison for the supporters of the secession during this period. However, Fort McHenry played a significant role during the fight with the British in 1812. There is also evidence of Afro-American descendants fighting for America. Fort McHenry and Hampton are about 10 miles from one another. The visit to Hampton which is off the north bound Dulaney Valley Road and into the Hampton lane for about a mile down, is interest kindling and relates the social history and life of the people during that period. Whereas, Fort McHenry relates us to the times of war and power play that makes to the history books. While one is a symbol of life, the other is a symbol of victory over aggression and the victory of equality of human beings.
Private William Williams was the first black to get into the exclusive only white US Army in 1812. Fort McHenry represents the day of equality for the first time in the history of US. A run-away slave, was made a private and was paid the regular private bounty of $50 along with private wages of $8 per month. The equality that this action represents in the history of America actually marks the beginning of America, less than fifty years of declared independence of America. Subjugation of weaker men in earlier world was common. Slaves are found all over the world from Africa to America; from the east to the west. This action is one of the earliest major steps taken towards equality of man kind in line. Fort McHenry represents this in their short movie and also later in the picture galleries when art and written information about William Williams is presented for posterity.
While this was the case with Fort McHenry, Hampton on the other hand represents the other side of slavery. Human beings were literally put in ghettos which were called living quarters. And men had little or no liberty except to work for their masters under their supervision. The committed working of the African slaves in Hampton was reflected in the well being of their master.
"The General's lands are very well cultivatedhis cattle, sheep, horses, etc., of a superior sort, and in much finer condition than many I saw in America. He is very famous for race horses and usually keeps three or four such horses in training, and what enables him to do this is that he owns very extensive iron works, or otherwise he could not."
- English Visitor Richard Parkinson, 1805
A display in Hampton read the above message. Now this implied that the workers and slaves in Hampton slogged it out very well and were impressive craftsmen. There were men and women who could make sure that their lands turned fertile and they were also good enough to work on the iron works and turn out the best equipments for the General. While checking with the curator, she also concurred that