Skip to Main Content

Maryland Province Archives

This is a guide to using the Maryland Province Archives (MPA), held at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

Researching Slavery, the Jesuits and Georgetown University in the MPA


The Maryland Province Archives contains records related to Jesuit slaveholding and the sale of enslaved people.  The collection is particularly notable for documenting the 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals to enslavers in Louisiana, with profits from the sale benefiting Georgetown College.  Many of the key documents related to Jesuit slaveholding and the 1838 sale have been digitized, described, and transcribed by the Georgetown Slavery Archive.  The collection also provides some insight into the presence of enslaved people in the city, and later neighborhood, of Georgetown.

The collection also has records pertaining to the community houses established by the Jesuits in the Maryland region.  In addition to serving as bases parish work, the properties were also landed manors, and most functioned as tobacco plantations that were run by enslaved labor.

Researchers interested in the history of Jesuit slaveholding, Georgetown's relationship with slave labor and sales, and the 1838 sale in particular, will find ample material, including financial records, house records, and correspondence. 

Searching the finding aid for the following will help researchers identify materials pertaining to slavery:

  • Jesuit plantation houses (records contain material related to both enslaved and free African Americans):
    • St. Inigoes
    • St. Thomas Manor
    • Newtown
    • Bohemia
    • White Marsh
    • St. Joseph's Church;
  • Correspondence to the Provincial (head of the Maryland Province), especially in the 1830s;
  • Records of the Procurator (treasurer) containing financial information related to the houses, including documentation of enslaved people.

Census of People to Be Sold


Image: Census of People to Be Sold in 1838, Maryland Province Archives













Creative Commons   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License. | Details of our policy