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Initially believed to have belonged to Charles Carroll the Barrister in the 1770s, this ensemble was actually worn by an unidentified enslaved man, a detail revealed after a closer look at its structure and style. Enslaved men and servants placed in highly visible jobs wore liveries, a uniform that visually showcased and symbolized a family’s wealth. Not only did it announce a family’s financial standing, a livery’s antiquated style ensured no one mistook an enslaved person or servant for a freeman or freewoman.



circa 1840


Velvet, wool, linen


Coat: 41 inches (length), 37 inces (bust), 35 inches (waist), 17 inches (shoulder); Waistcoat: 34.5 inches (length), 38 inches (bust), 40 inches (waist), 16 inches (shoulder); Breeches: 31 inches (length), 36.5 inches (waist)

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Resource ID


Credit Line

Gift of Miss Constance Petre.

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.