THE SLAVES: BLACKSMITHS

Dr. David Caldwell was the second owner of the plantation. Caldwell and his first wife Harriet lived at Rosedale with their eight children and a large household. The doctor operated Rosedale as a subsistence plantation and made an income through a variety of sources, including his medical practice, stock in a gold mine, and through the hiring out of his slaves. Dr. Caldwell owned several slaves who were skilled blacksmiths, including Nat, who worked in a blacksmith shop on the grounds of the plantation. The income from the blacksmiths was very important to the plantation economy. When Dr. Caldwell composed his will in 1854, he stated that it was his wish that three of his blacksmiths: Ephraim, Nat, and Randall, be hired out to “such good places where they will be well treated and cared for and as far as can be done have them as convenient to their wifes (sic).” This would generate income to be kept in a fund to educate the doctor’s three youngest children.