The Enslaved Community


David was an enslaved man who appears to have moved from Locust Grove to Washington, DC, when Ann Croghan married Thomas S. Jesup.

He was one of the enslaved people who belonged to the Croghans that we know was literate.

In 1823, Ann wrote the following to her mother:

“David says he is very much mortified that none of his friends have written to him…”
-Ann Croghan Jesup to Lucy Croghan – 29 September, 1823

Along with the enslaved woman Rose, who also came from Locust Grove to Washington, DC, David appeared to resent and protest in mild ways the presence of a free, white woman named

Maria in the Jesup household. Ann was quite happy with how hard Maria worked as a domestic servant, which likely made life more difficult for Rose and David. In what was likely a choice to show agency, David refused to call her “Miss Maria.”

John Croghan helped the Jesups sell a man named Davy in 1842, likely the same man as David. John had a hard time selling Davy and had at least three different buyers across four months. He first stated that he had sold Davy to W. Fields for $500 in January of 1842. However, that sale must have fallen through because he is trying to get Mr. Bates to purchase Davy in May. That deal also seems to have fallen through, and John then notes that he was going to try to sell Davy to a Mr. Gray.