"I shall be obliged to sell our man not to separate man & wife" - A Jesuit priest tries to keep a family together, 1826

Dublin Core

Title

"I shall be obliged to sell our man not to separate man & wife" - A Jesuit priest tries to keep a family together, 1826

Subject

Slave sales; Slave family

Description

In this letter, Fr. Francis Neale, SJ reports that he must sell an enslaved man at St. Thomas Manor to the owner of the man's wife, who was planning to sell her and her three children. This letter demonstrates the complex family lives of slaves owned by the Jesuits in Maryland, and the complex webs of property that entangled them. It also demonstrates the Jesuits' awareness of the family lives of the people they owned, and one attempt to soften the blows of the slave market - paradoxically, through the slave market.

Creator

Maryland Province Archive

Publisher

Georgetown Slavery Archive

Date

1826-01-13

Contributor

Tom Foley, Adam Rothman

Rights

Georgetown University Library

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Manuscript letter

Identifier

GSA59

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Revd & Dr Fr

My many & I may say daily calls to the sick, & my having attended cob-neck during all Christmas have put it out of my power to write to you. I find it necessary to inform you yr Revce That this Family must loose her best Negroe hand for labor. The reason is, his wife belongs to another person & the master has ordered her & her children to be soled. I cannot buy her, too much is demanded $500 for her & her three children - they are all girls of which we have 10 or 12 already in our family. I shall be obliged to sell our man not to separate man & wife. I have spoken to the owner of the wife he says he cannot admit her into his family at Washington he has too many &c - our carpenter Charles has not as yet returned from St. Inigo’s to which place he was taken to work for the corporation. Nothing was paid by St. Inigo’s in return for all my expences incurred for sending down the slaves, & loss of time by those who conveyed them down to St. Inigo’s.

I did ask yr Revce if the promise made by the last agent (to afford the assistance of two men to St. Thomas’s Manor) could be comply’d with? I have not received any effectual answer. I am called to another sick person & must conclude.

I remain Revd Fr affectionately yrs in Christ.

St. Thomas’s Manor               Francis Neale

10 Janry1826


[p. 2]

                                          13 January 1826 [upside down]

Port Tobacco }                                   10

January 11th  }

            Rev. Doctr Dzerinsky

            George Town College

            Dist. Columbia

                         George Town

Original Format

Manuscript letter

Files

Citation

Maryland Province Archive, “"I shall be obliged to sell our man not to separate man & wife" - A Jesuit priest tries to keep a family together, 1826,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed April 30, 2017, http://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/67.

Geolocation