Ridgely of Hampton (Chas. Ridgely Carnan, Chas. Carnan Ridgely)
1818 LS as 15th Governor of Maryland, forwarding a message from North Carolinas Governor to the state Assembly
Autograph ID: 5795
Condition: Good, chipping at top edges, left side, and bottom not affecting any content
Description: “(1760-1829, b. Charles Ridgely Carnan, also known as Charles Carnan Ridgely). Baltimore-born 15th Governor of the State of Maryland 1816-19, served in the Maryland House of Delegates 1790-95 and the State 1796-1800. He devoted his tenure to internal improvements and attention to the State during the War of 1812 with Great Britain. He appropriated ground for the erection of a Battle Monument in Baltimore, aided education, and chartered manufacturing and insurance companies. The State enjoyed great prosperity during his term. He passed an act which provided education for the poor in 5 separate counties, important to the early development of public education in Maryland. A 2nd act created the Commissioners of the School Fund which appropriated a fund to establish free schools within Maryland. His uncle Captain Charles Ridgely willed him his estate, Hampton, on condition that he assume the name Charles Ridgely; he did so legally in 1790 and became 2nd master of Hampton. Hampton was inspired by Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, England, owned by relatives of his grandmother. He had 10,590′ of irrigation pipes laid in 1799 from a nearby spring to provide water to the mansion and surrounding gardens which he extensively developed. Prominent artisans were hired to design geometric formal gardens, planted on the mansion’s grounds 1799-1801. He also raised Thoroughbred horses at Hampton, and had a racetrack installed. Under Charles Carnan Ridgely, Hampton reached its peak of 25,000 acres in the 1820s. The mansion overlooked a grand estate of orchards, ironworks, coal mining, marble quarries, mills, and mercantile interests. The vast farm produced corn, beef cattle, dairy products, hogs, and horses. More than 300 slaves worked the fields and served the household, making Hampton one of Maryland’s largest slaveholding estates. He Ridgely often entertained prominent guests in the mansion’s Great Hall, incl. Charles Carroll of Carrollton and the Marquis de Lafayette. When he died in 1829, all of his slaves under age 45 were freed. Hampton Mansion is now in the care of the National Park Service as Hampton National Historic Site.
10 x 8 LS “Ridgely of Hampton”, In Council, Annapolis, January 20 1818, while Maryland Governor, to the General Assembly. The Governor transmits (not present) a letter from the Governor of North Carolina enclosing (not present) certain resolutions adopted by that state’s General Assembly. With blank integral page.”