"I would be willing to take $450": Fr. Mulledy to Fr. McElroy on pricing people, June 12, 1838

Dublin Core


"I would be willing to take $450": Fr. Mulledy to Fr. McElroy on pricing people, June 12, 1838


Slaves--United States--Economic conditions.; Catholic Church--Clergy--Correspondence


In this letter to another Jesuit priest in June 1838, Fr. Mulledy, SJ discussed his negotiations with potential buyers over the price of the people that the Maryland Jesuits intended to sell. He reports that he had been having trouble selling them "in a Catholic neighborhood."


Maryland Province Archives


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza, Tom Foley


Georgetown University Library









Text Item Type Metadata


Georgetown College June 12th 1838

Revd. Dear Father in Christ,

I arrived here last Friday evening & intended to start on this day for Frederick, hence my delay in not answering your letter. I am now so busily engaged in trading off our negroes, that I know not when I shall be in Frederick. If Br. Byrne do not give prompt hopes of amendment, & you should deem it advisable, I authorize you to dismiss him. I long thought that the poor brother’s head was out of joint.

As Fr. Dzierozynski is now quite recovered, be pleased to tell Fr. Lopez to come home forthwith, his Spanish boys begin to feel his absence, in fact his school has been too long idle, he can still prepare them for examination & eschilition. I find it difficult to dispose of our servants to persons in a Catholic neighborhood. I have now a fine opportunity if we agree upon prices. Purchasers wish to price each individual servt giving high prices for the young & stout & diminishing for the elder & children. One yesterday presented his prices for men young say 20 years $800 do women $650 & so on diminishing something for everyone above 25 [End Page 1] & under 18. I told him that I wished an average price - he made out one by adding his different prices together - which amounted to $345 per head I told him that he must make his average come to $400 at least - before I would even deign to consider his proposition. Tell me what do you think of $400 round for young & old - leaving out all of 60 & above for separate agreement -- & counting all under one year with the mother as one. Fr. McSherry thinks it a fair price - let me know what you think of it. I would be willing to take $450.

Nothing new - I recommend myself to your HH. H & prayers

Thomas F. Mulledy
[End Page 2]

Rvd Fr Provincial
12 June

The Revd J. McElroy
St. John’s Church
Frederick City

Original Format




Maryland Province Archives, “"I would be willing to take $450": Fr. Mulledy to Fr. McElroy on pricing people, June 12, 1838,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed July 22, 2024, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/100.