Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

Intendant's Day Book Entry Recording Payment to Negro Cardy

March 15, 1784
Ink on Paper

MSA S 1005-97

Letter, Mary Ridout to Anne Ogle   

Did Free or Enslaved African Americans wWork in the State House?

While very little is known about the work of enslaved individuals, there is evidence that free African Americans worked in the State House during the 18th and 19th centuries. "Negro Cardy," a man identified in the day book kept by Maryland’s intendant of the revenue, is the earliet African American documented as working in the State House. Cardy was paid for sweeping the chimneys and carrying firewood in 1784 and 1785, indicating he was present while Congress was in session.

Little is known of Cardy, but it is clear that he was a free man because he was paid directly. A payment made in 1819 to a Mrs. Wells for the "hire of her Negro" is the only documented reference to an enslaved person working at the State House.



KEy Images on the

Apprentice cabinetmakers Francis Pavlak (l) and Brian Weldy(r) work in the 
Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker's Shop, 2011
Front Elevation of the State House
General George Washington Resigning His Commission

The Ground Plan of the STATE-HOUSE at ANNAPOLIS
View of Annapolis
Advertisement, Maryland Gazette, December 17, 1783

Key Documents on the Wall

Payment to Negro Cardy
Inovice of Johhn Shaw
Letter from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to David Stewart

Exhibits in the Stairwell Room

John Shaw # 1 Des