"old Isaac is quite cheerful": Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, November 6, 1838

Dublin Core

Title

"old Isaac is quite cheerful": Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, November 6, 1838

Subject

Slaves--Maryland; Slaves--Family relationships; Slave trade--United States

Description

In November 1838, as the remaining members of the Maryland Jesuit slave community were being shipped to Louisiana, Fr. Grivel wrote a letter to Fr. Lancaster with a glimpse of the proceedings at White Marsh.

Among other things, Fr. Grivel indicates that the Jesuits intended to buy Nelly's husband Peter from his owner, Henry Young, so that they could send Nelly and her children to Louisiana with her husband.

The "Fr. Proval" or "Fr. Prov_l" mentioned in this letter is the Provincial for Maryland, Rev. Thomas Mulledy.

Key excerpts:

"on all Saints I rode with the whole family to W.M. heared 6. or 7. Confessions, sung last Mass, preached & went back to Elmly for dinner - on the 2d, back to W.M. I visited all the quarters, saw all, but Joe & his smart oxen --old Isaac is quite cheerful - Oh, said he, Fr G. you ought to visit my wife. Br Kuhn said: She is very large; in deed - How many horses said I did you want to carry her from Baltimore? - A wagon & 5. Horses - great laughing of old Isaac, Miss Kitty & all - The fact is, Br Kuhn had brought to Baltme some hogshead of Tobacco & returning took Isaac’s wife - She is not as big as old Nelly, Joe’s mother. A good and well bred Woman. They live in a new quarter near the spring going to New design, & near the tobacco house: but the place being rented, they will move. Nelly old Isaac’s daughter was sick, a very sensible woman. Harriet & children are gone, Charles or James her husband will not go & secreted 3. of his children at Baltimore, a distressing story if Fr W. is right. The others are willing to go. Fr Proval has just returned from St. Inigoes (where Fr Brogard is living, since 3. weeks) & to day will start for W.M. I asked him, nothing, but no doubt, it was in order to send the rest of the blacks except some, in the next week."

A postscript offers more information about slave families: "Fr Prov-l just returned (the 9th fr. W. Marsh. all, but 21 in the whole are now on board at Alexandria. In S. Inigoes, all also, but 25 or 30. at W. Marsh. Nelly & children remain, until Peter her husband shall have been bought from Henry Young who is very willing to do it. Fr Woodley’s tale is false. James [Quin?] is a rascal, & is living with Elizabeth a widow sister of his wife Harriet, who knew it, & refused to remain in W.M. & chose to go with her children. Governor Johnson will have a Priest at his plantation every Sunday & H. days. These last years, the priest had been there 35 times & he paid him $185 for his trouble. It’s a fact..."

Creator

Maryland Province Archives

Publisher

Georgetown Slavery Archive

Date

1838-11-06

Contributor

Tom Foley, Cory Young, David Collins, Adam Rothman

Rights

Maryland Province Jesuits

Relation

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Letter

Identifier

GSA207

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Georgetown College

6. Novemb. 1838

Carissime in Xto Frater Carole!

P. X___ I arrived at Annapolis Saturday 27th Oct. at 3. O’Cl. P.M - met on the warf Fr. Woodley who having heard some thing of my eventual coming, went, on the chance of a perhaps, to see whether I were on board.  He was taking me to the tavern when lo!!  Col. Walback in the street! Fr W. introduced me to him, who took hold of me, & made me a sweet violence in carrying me to the port.  You had told me great things of him & family, but not enough: what kindness &c. His lady & youngest daughter were at Philadelphia.  Misses Theresa & Louisa are pious, accomplished Ladies.  What niceness in the whole house!  The next day, Fr W. compelled me to preach, saying: spirit of God -- old man, the congregation will be pleased - He went to the Colg - we dined there, he hired a carriage, for which you payed of course - Monday, a select congregation, 13. communions, among whom Theresa & Louisa, as usual every month He established the living Rosary.  We took breakfast at the Colg, he went to the rail road, & in the carriage my Revd arrived at W. Marsh, took diner, cheered Br Van de Wardt.  

Dr Woodley returned the same day; he does much good at Annapolis: Sunday were 10. monthly communicants, in all, in two days = 23. Very good.  Col. Boyle was in the church, saw me, heared me, & did not visit me at Colg.  Fr W. told me not to pay him any visit, because according the custom, he should have been the first to pay a visit to me.  I submitted my french opinion.  The same day I went to old Marine Duvall & family.

Next day Mr Notley (who had not received my letter, & it had not arrived as yet on the 5th: but Fr Proval had got his from me) went in his carriage to fetch me home - Plenty confessions there - and I met there, whom! Dr Waters. He asked me about you, with lively marks at peculiar affection.  Some say that since you have left W.M. he got colder & went oftener to the Protestt Chapel.  However I met him again at W.M. Sunday the 4th Nov. on the 31st we dined at old Mrs Hall’s

on all Saints I rode with the whole family to W.M. heared 6. or 7. Confessions, sung last Mass, preached & went back to Elmly for dinner - on the 2d, back to W.M. I visited all the quarters, saw all, but Joe & his smart oxen --old Isaac is quite cheerful -   Oh, said he, Fr G. you ought to visit my wife.  Br Kuhn said: She is [End page 1]  she is very large; in deed - How many horses said I did you want to carry her from Baltimore? - A wagon & 5. Horses - great laughing of old Isaac, Miss Kitty & all - The fact is, Br Kuhn had brought to Baltme some hogshead of Tobacco & returning took Isaac’s wife - She is not as big as old Nelly, Joe’s mother.  A good and well bred Woman.  They live in a new quarter near the spring going to New design, & near the tobacco house: but the place being rented, they will move.  Nelly old Isaac’s daughter was sick, a very sensible woman.  Harriet & children are gone, Charles or James her husband will not go & secreted 3. of his children at Baltimore, a distressing story if Fr W. is right.  The others are willing to go.  Fr Proval has just returned from St. Inigoes (where Fr Brogard is living, since 3. weeks) & to day will start for W.M. I asked him, nothing, but no doubt, it was in order to send the rest of the blacks except some, in the next week.  Almost the whole at W.M. farm is rented out - Br O Hara has been expected.  No letter from him to me, as yet.  I know nothing about Newtown & S. Thomas’s.  I could not see M. Conel. Duvall, I was very sorry for it, & I sent him my respects: it was so rainy, that he could not come on Sunday - Saturday we dined at Mr Hopkins - Alfred had been at the Marsh on all Saints day, had run up to my room hearing that I was there: so much pleased was the excellent boy, & I also. HIs sisters Louisa & Hannann were at Baltimore; he was going to take them home the next day, but had not arrived at Saturday.  He wants only a good opportunity & his sisters too, to join a + church.  Mr Hopkins will move with his family to Louisville, K-y, where two sons of him have a store & are doing very well - Alfred will go to Bardstown College, at St. Joseph’s.  I expect they will not change their plan.  He, the old man, had almost sold his farm, the difference was for $500, but he will find a purchaser.  He was extremely kind to me & Fr Combs, and his Lady more, of course as Emmeline was at home, perfectly kind also.  Friday the 2d Fr W. & I took tea at old Marine’s. Mr Notley had sent his carriage to go to Hopkin’s - Sunday the 3d, I preached on Purgatory; I took briefly the point of controversy - the 2nd was a consoling truth - the 3d a practical truth - They say, it was a little long but moving.  Dr Waters was there, & immediately I left with the family Notley - Monday on the 5th, Martha, Ann Martha, Julia Fidalis & I started for the city.  I let them go to Uncle Henry, whom I had found at Elmly with wife & Children, but had returned friday - I took a hack in the avenue, & arrived here on 3.P.M - They were all inconceivably kind to me.  The room of Fr Paul had been cleaned painted &c. Fr Rector gave me the faculties & I am in office.  Hoc requias mea.  

As soon as I arrived at W.M - ”Now, said Br Kuhn (who shall be called here) to Br Van de Wardt, you will go to confession - “Not the least objection. He went Saturday & to communion Sunday, serving my mass in Surplice, very decently.  I never contradicted him, granting what I could grant conscienciously, exhorting him to be thankful for the many graces [End page 2] he had received, but non omnis spiritus credere [?] Satanas transformat re in angelum lucis [do not believe every spirit; Satan transforms himself into an angel of light]: you speak with an invisible being at your left hand, that is the side of the goats &v. Try to speak always to the right - So he got in some doubt at his theophoricity.  Pueris, puerilia, we will see.__Martha, Ann Martha desire to study a year more in the academy, & Julia Fidelis will be received perhaps in September: she is a pretty little thing, intelligent & cunning above her age. - Do not speak of this - Mr Nutley thinks to court Miss Theresa Wallback, 33. years of age; I wish it might succeed.

An hour after my arrival all the Scholasticks payd me a visit; great mutual delight!  The next day after Dinner I returned a visit to them, with leave of course, conditio sine quâ non - Fr Lucas goes up to the college, with crutches, without immense pains.  Blox is no more a prefect, O Hanagan is very fatigued, Powers less; Ward has Rhetorik & Poetry together - Stonestreet 1st humanity, Clark the 2d Early the 3d Blenkinsop the 1st Rudiments, McMohan the 2d etc etc - Fr Gabaría & I spoke of you - He has a project & Fr Proval asked my opinion, he had ready yr letter, & told me he will consider the case seriously.  I am not authorized to say more. I agreed of course with Fr Gabaría, who had for a long time before you & I went to S. Joseph’s given his opinion about the matter.

I have not as yet seen Fr Dubuisson.  But rely upon my promise & maintain yourself in aureû indifferentiâ, si non in parte inferiori anima quod est quasi impossibile saltera in superiori ut Christus in horto.

The rudiments school being too numerous, it was divided: and Poetry & Rhetorick having fewer scholars than usual, Tim took both, & the other Professors went down a degree to their former schools.

Do not forget to send my trunks to Pike & Neale, with a well & clearly written direction.

It’s all, dear C.C.L. My respects to the family Council, Capt Richardson, his Lady & Children, Capt. Dickinson, Joe & Sam Callahen, & R. Th. Monelly. My remembrance to the Diggins, Nancy & servants.  I will write to Fr Cary to day.

God bless you, & pray for me

Yr humb. Servt in Xist [humble servant in Christ]

Fid. Grivel

P.S. out of the $20. given to me by you, remained $2. no more.  I gave one to old Isaac, 50cts to Sally Digg & as much or more to the servants of Col. W. & N Young - I understand well the part of farming concerning expenses - [End page 3] Ignatius yr brother went to see me & to ask about you.  He is taller than you are, but his growth was too rapid, & his breast akes him; he thinks he will go home, but return in spring, after the first examination, & then study hard as he says: he is in Rhetorick.  He seems to be inclined very much to piety, I gave some hints of his esteem & love for the Society.  We will see.  I regret to have not told you to open the letters of Br O Hare.  He wrote the 19th Oct. & says: Fr McCarthy went off for Frederick with little regret of any one.  Deo gratius, adds he.  Fr Brogard does very well & has made a very good beginning.  He rides on horseback to his Mission at S. Nicholas.  6. tenants at S. Inigs - That all.

[sideways, address] Mm C. Calvert Lancaster

At S. Joseph Church

Wye Mill P.O.

Talbot Cty

Eastern Shore

[regular orientation] Fr Prov-l just returned (the 9th fr. W. Marsh. all, but 21 in the whole are now on board at Alexandria.  In S. Inigoes, all also, but 25 or 30. at W. Marsh. Nelly & children remain, until Peter her husband shall have been bought from Henry Young who is very willing to do it.  Fr Woodley’s tale is false.  James [Quin?] is a rascal, & is living with Elizabeth a widow sister of his wife Harriet, who knew it, & refused to remain in W.M. & chose to go with her children. Governor Johnson will have a Priest at his plantation every Sunday & H. days.  These last years, the priest had been there 35 times & he paid him $185 for his trouble.  It’s a fact - Fr Prov-l just told to write to you, that very lately he will call you here.  Deo gratias.  [End page 4] 

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Maryland Province Archives, “"old Isaac is quite cheerful": Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, November 6, 1838,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed May 22, 2018, http://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/225.

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