This Month In County History

1902: former slaves at Warfield estate

August 19, 2005

Edwin Warfield, Maryland's 45th governor, was a Howard County native whose family made its home at the Oakdale estate in Daisy. On Aug. 16, 1902, he presided over an unusual event, the record of which provides a reminder of the county's antebellum past.

"A year before he was elected governor, Edwin Warfield invited many of the former slaves of Oakdale back to the estate for a reunion," states Joetta M. Cramm in Howard County, A Pictorial History.

A photograph from the collection of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People captures the scene. Eleven formally dressed black men and women sit stiffly in a semicircle in front of a simple,two-story, wooden building; another black man appears at an upper-floor window. Warfield is pictured in a relaxed pose behind the group - "seated," according to a neatly typed caption that accompanies the photograph,"on porch of old Servants' Quarter."

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