"The Value of the Slaves:" State of the Farm and Mission of St. Joseph, June 28-30, 1831

Dublin Core


"The Value of the Slaves:" State of the Farm and Mission of St. Joseph, June 28-30, 1831


Slaves--United States--Economic conditions; Slave labor; Financial Statements, Jesuit Missions


Maryland Province Archives


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza


Maryland Province, Society of Jesus









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According to Father Hardys account the debts contracted before he took charge of St Joseph must have exceeded a $1000; of these 500 were borrowed at 6 per Ct by F. Newton, and with the interest stated within as due at Mr. Hardys departure. Mr. H.f ound the people without clothes, the house without any provisions, the stock and poultry poor and scanty, the buildings and fences in a state of ruin- He only found some scattered papers books had been in the house; but neither he or Mr. Grace could find them- the accounts that the visitor found were only from Jan. 1830 to June 29 1831 and these were not closed or regularly kept. With some trouble they were classified and the within statements extracted from them, which were submitted both to Mssrs. Cary and Hardy and by them admitted to be free from any considerable mistake. Admitting this general accuracy of the statements, we may consider as certain the following Result:

      Monies expended and not arising from farm or mission $550

Do obtained by the sale of slave ------------------------        300

Balance of expenditure above all receipts -                    76.90 ½

Debts due on the 29 June 1831                                       898.
Sum wanted for repairs, totals, provisions                         $300                                                                            $2124.90 ½

Cr by sum to be received from farm before Jan                102

Debts, and monies expended above the income       2022.90   ½

And to be expended to prevent further debt

Product of land if sold at 5pr. Are      $1700

Do of live stock and furniture              335           Bal. 12.9 ½

                                                    $2035                2035.00

 This if the whole concern were sold the product after paying debts regarding money expended above the income would leave $12.9 ½ the 300 charged for tools and would scarcely meet expenses of sale. 

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1831 Residence and Missions of St. Joseph on the Eastern Shore                                                                                              June 29th

Congregations-     St. Joseph  and Denton: In the former are about 150 of whom  70 Comunts in the other 100. Com. 50

Pastors-         The Revd John Cary the only one: One lay brother                      assists him in house and farm

Annual income from pews and other fixed revenue-   none

Collections- In St. Joseph Anq. None. At Denton in 17 months visit now elapsed $39: In Kent Col: $46 collected-

Jura Stole- Within the last 17 months: $15 at marriages + $1 alms- it is supposed for masses-

Acres in the Farms- Blue field 63. Red field 62 ½ Yellow do. 64 ½ Green do 50 ½ Wood 100- Total 340 ½

Average income from the farm- at present fr. 150 to 200 doll: if well cultivated it is supposed that it would yield $600

Income of the year 1831- From Jan. 1830 to June 29, 1831 $104.46.  part this was sold of Rye and wheat 102. Tot. 206.46

Monies received from private sources not connected with either farm or mission- Rev. Mr Hardy received $550

Monies Rec by the sale of 3 slaves not to be included in the annual income $300

Total received from every source from Jan 1830 to June 29 1831 $1047.46

Total expenses during the same period - $1124.36 ½ Bal. of expenses above all income $ 76.90 ½

Amount of debt due by the house and farm at Mr. Hardy’s departure $803: since added by Mr. Cary 95 lot $898

Amount of money now wanted for tools, repairs, winter clothes, seed wheat and one months provisions $300

Slaves- Ned and Tom each about 30- Sam about 12. Mick hired out for 40 per ann: This years ages included in $102 state above

Women- Nancy 70. Lucy 18, Beller 17. This last hired out 43 each wages also included in the $102 to be rec.

Moral Habits – none are charged with theft – one man and the old woman go the sacramants – the other 2 men do not go to sacraments- one is said to be a worthless fellow- the other notoriously living in habits of illicit intercourse, the married one wishes to.

States of the houses for slaves and room- they are very few and very bad- there is not one that can afford comfortable shelter to man or beast  hence the men sleep in a room over that in which the women sleep.

Value of the land- good farms in the neighborhood have been lately sold for $6- St. Joseph-s is valued from 4 to 5. At present there is no selling land on the eastern shores; no man seeks to settle on it.

Nearest town- Easton is about 12 to 14 miles from St. Joseph- is a good town- population 1500 a lot would be given and other encouragement to build a church there- the Catholics there are yet but few-

The value of the slaves- the 3 men would probably bring $750- the 2 girls about 200- the boy            -the old woman a burden

The live stock, farm utensils and house furniture may be worth 335 dollars-

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Mr Cary, B. Marshal and theirs say, that if the debts were paid and the money advanced for repairs of then with great industry and economy two missions might be supported, but this would be the utmost.

B.  Marshall is rather inactive, unhealthy and is peculiarly obnoxious to the blacks and others there.

Though intended to stop there, he expressed a wish to be placed where he would not have such a laborious life out of doors.


Actual state of the farm and mission of St. josephs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland
as taken in a visitation made June 28, 29, 30 1831



Original Format




Maryland Province Archives , “"The Value of the Slaves:" State of the Farm and Mission of St. Joseph, June 28-30, 1831,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed July 14, 2024, http://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/168.