Skip menu to read main page content

Coat; Overcoat; Cape


Sewn into the cape and overcoat of this livery are the names “Tom Brown” and “Tilghman Davis.” Both men were enslaved at the Ridgely estate of Hampton in Towson, Maryland, but remained with the family after emancipation. Liveries began as a European custom, but prominent American families adopted the practice of dressing their servants or enslaved workers in these finely constructed uniforms to publicly display the family’s wealth and social stature. Embossed on the overcoat’s buttons are stag heads—the Ridgely family crest, which visually associated the servants and slaves with the family.





Wool, cotton, brass


Coat: 51 inches (length - neck to hem), 25.5 inches (length - sleeves), 40 inches (chest), 35 inches (waist), 16 inches (shoulder); Overcoat: 43.5 inches (length - neck to hem), 24 inches (length - sleeves), 41 inches (chest), 39 inches (waist), 17 inches (shoulder); Cape: 22 inches (length - front), 23.75 inches (length - back)

Object ID


Resource ID


Credit Line

Gift of Mr. John Ridgley

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.