Michelle Diane Wright
Primary sources related to the stewardship of the Hilton Estate by Thomas Taylor (alternate spelling Taillor) (and
John Taylor (Taillor) between the years 1678-1742. The arrangement was a Fee Simple whereby the land was actually rented
from Charles Calvert, 3rd Lord Baltimore. Neither of these men resided at the Hilton Estate
from Charles Calvert, 3rd Lord Baltimore. Neither of these men resided at the Hilton Estate he acreage was 1800. This early era is immensely important to understand enslavement in Maryland because this virtually free land was contingent upon developing the land, which necessitated coerced labor.
These are primary sources concerning Samuel Galloway III (1720-1785), who owned the Hilton Estate for almost twenty years between 1742-1761. Galloway was a Quaker who never lived on the Hilton Estate, but was a trader of enslaved Africans in Annapolis. The size of the estate remained the same size at this time, 1800 acres.
Between the years 1761-1818, six different members of the Dorsey family owned the land that would come to be known as the Hilton Estate. For the most part, the land at this time was known as "Dorsey's Manor." The Dorsey's added a piece of land that they named "Long Acre" and the total acreage of the property was 2175 during their stewardship. The property now had frontage to Elkridge Landing (present-day Howard County) and was utilized primarily for an iron plantation and related needs and employed all forms of coerced labor including indentured, convict, and enslaved.
James William McCulloch purchased the Hilton Estate for $35,000 and used it as a working farm for industrial stock, grain, as well as an orchard. McCulloch lived on the farm while he owned it. By this time, the estate consisted of only 511 acres as the Dorsey family sold off a significant amount of the land. As federal cashier of the Second National Bank in Baltimore City, is is best known as being the namesake 1819 Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland, that defined the scope of the U.S. Congress's legislative power and how it relates to the powers of American state legislatures. Census data indicates that he enslaved six Blacks while residing at the Hilton Estate, presumably to work on the farm and perform domestic labor.
After McCulloch v. Maryland, James W. McCulloch was forced to relinquish Hilton Estate and the property was sold to John Lewis Buchanan at
auction for $20,961.30. At that time, the estate consisted of 511 acres. The Buchanan ownership was short-lived as he passed away in 1827,
and his aunt Sydney Birckhead maintained the land from 1827-1828 until it was sold again.
Dr. Lennox Birckhead purchased Hilton Estate from Sydney Buchanan in 1828. Lennox Birckhead was the son of Solomon Birckheard, the business partner of James W. McCulloch. Dr. Birckhead was a well-known physician in the Baltimore area and simultaneously utilized the land as a working farm. In 1835, Dr. Birckhead built a stone house on the property that is still present. He was also the individual that named the property Hilton Estate because it was located on a hill with a beautiful vista. During his stewardship, the property consisted of 511 acres.
For 80 years, four members of the Glenn family were the stewards of the Hilton Estate. The owners and the dates of their ownership were as follows: William Carson Glenn (1837-1842), John Glenn (1842-1853), William Wilkins Glenn (1853-1876), and John Mark Glenn (1876-1917). The Glenns utilized the property for farming and the breeding of livestock, particularly thoroughbred horses. William Wilkins Glenn was particularly engaged in horse racing and used the land to that end. For the Glenns, the home was a summer residence as during the remainder of the year the family lived in Baltimore City on Charles Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. During the Civil War, the Glenns were Confederate sympathizers and notables such as Jefferson Davis and Roger Brooke Taney visited the mansion. During the Glenn ownership, the acreage was approximately 1100. In 1907 John M. Glenn donated 43 acres of the land to the Maryland State Board of Forestry, and the land eventually became Patapsco Valley State Park.
In 1917 when George Worth Knapp purchased the Hilton Estate, the property had dwindled to 279 acres. In 1917, architect Edward Palmer was hired to renovate the mansion in a Georgian style and other property buildings using a Tudor style. In 1935, Alfred M. Knapp took over the stewardship of the property and renovated the property again in 1937. In 1957, the Knapp family relinquished the property and it was taken over by the Baltimore County Board of Education. The 103 remaining acres known as the Hilton Estate became the Catonsville Community College in 1962.
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Historian-Michelle Diane Wright / IT -Alexis Brown