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Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Lauinger Library

This guide highlights the primary source documents at Lauinger Library that supports the goals of Georgetown University's Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation Initiative.

Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown

Archives of Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Dates: 1793-1982

Extent: 45 linear feet

Finding aid: Holy Trinity Catholic Church Archives part 1Holy Trinity Church Archives part 2

Digital Georgetown: Archives of Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Founded in 1787, Holy Trinity Catholic Church located in Georgetown on 36th Street, NW, between N and O Streets, has an intrinsic relationship with Georgetown University, as several of its professors and students have ministered to that parish. During the antebellum period, its membership included the enslaved and free Black members of the neighboring community, some of them laborers at Georgetown College. The Holy Trinity sacramental records reveal an active network of Black women who nurtured the religious ties of their families. Members of the Becraft family, including Anne Maria Becraft (1805-1833) who operated a school on Dumbarton Street and later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence, were active in this parish. Black people remained a significant part of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church after emancipation. In 1923, Black parishioners left Holy Trinity; in 1925, they founded Epiphany Catholic Church in located at 2712 Dumbarton Street, NW.

Despite the comprehensiveness of the sacramental records, there are variations in record keeping so that the Black participation in the parish is clearer in some volumes than others. Researchers should consult especially the Marriages and Baptisms Register, 1795-1805. The Burial Records, 1818-1867, provide a record of internments that included enslaved and free Black parishioners (among them those who worked the College) buried at the College Burial Ground, December 6, 1818-August 14, 1831, and Holy Rood Cemetery, April 22, 1832-May 25, 1867.

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