"he is preparing a brig for carrying them:" Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, Feb 8, 1839.

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"he is preparing a brig for carrying them:" Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, Feb 8, 1839.


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


In February 1838, Fr. Grivel wrote a letter to Fr. Lancaster to update him of Province matters, including the aftermath of the 1838 sale and the purchase of Peter by Gov. Johnson.

In a previous letter, Grivel informed Lancaster of their intentions to purchase Nelly's husband Peter from his owner Henry Young, so that his wife and children could be sent to Louisiana.


Maryland Province Archive


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Tom Foley, Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza


Maryland Province Jesuits










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G.T. Coll. 8 Febr 1839

Cssime in Xto Frater Carole!

P.C. Few days after the reception of yr letter Fr. Pval. returned, & he is gone again to Philad. for the Bened. of the new church of St. Jh’s which shall take place on the 10th.

            But I asked him about you; he read yr letter and seems to be fixed on your recall for next fall only, because he wishes to settle before that time with the archbishop, the things concerning Revd T.M. nobody being more able than you, to make arrangements for his farm, in case he agrees to give us the management of it, but the plan of Fr Pr-l may be altered according to circumstances: however it remains to be settled that you shall be called to the college.

            We have here 10. milk cows, which furnish us daily with plenty for the whole house, about 200 boarders & religious.  How can milk be so scarce at St. Jh’s with 14 milk cows? It’s true that here cows & horses are kept in very good order.

            Banish all fear about your studies here: trust to God to the experience of your friends & to the direction of obedience.  Nil ad mirari, says the Epicurean Horace; nil cupere, nil timere, says S. Ignatius.  Keep these three rules & you will be in pace bonâ et reapué opulentâ as the H. Ghost says.

            Brs Kellenberger & Heard have been confined to the infirmary the whole winter, the 1st by Hypo, which however prostrated him & caused dispepsy & costiveness; the 2d by cough & blood spiting; however no apparent danger for both. Spring, I hope, shall revive them.

[Page 2]

            The boys are very quiet and docile this year: however there was no chance as yet for giving them the usual retreat, it shall take place in lent.

            Mr. Donovan the scholastick got his dismissiure; he never had a shadow of vocation.  Milesius Gibbons schol. Has taken his first vows: he is not inferior in piety, good sense & talents to our poor James, whose grave I visit almost every day.

            Martha Young, her cousin Ann Martha are now polishing the education in the academy, where Aloysia was already.  Julia Fidelis is at her aunt’s Ignatius young widow, & Clenmont in the city with his aunts Miss Kitty & Ann Hill: he is going to a school. Benjamin believing that his sister Martha went to the academy to enter the monastery, wrote to her, that he approved very much of it.  Martha was extremely pleased with the letter.  There is a general report abroad that she will be a nun; her father has no objection at all; only old Mrs. Hall is angry about it.

            You know Ben Ogle, the eldest son & neighbour to our friend Cornelius Duval has killed himself; 6 months ago, he had finally married that unfortunate girl but out of the church.

            Governor Johnson has bought Peter Nelly’s husband from Henry Young, & He is preparing a brig for carrying them & almost the rest at S. Inigoes W.M. & S. Thomas’s servants.

Frs Lily & Combs are coming here often & are well.

Br O Hara is well; no news there.

Fr Bally is doing wonderfully well at Goshenhopen.

[Page 3]

There are 6. weeks already, that we had no amís from France, for the constant North West winds.  Tell Fr Cary that the same wind very likely prevents my amís to cross the bay, because I have received none from S. Jh’s, since two months.  My respects to him & to Rd T. Monelly.

In a hurry
F. Grivel SJ



Revd C.C. Lancaster

St. Joseph’s Church

Wye mill P.O.

Talbot Cty

M--d. Eastern Shore



Original Format




Maryland Province Archive, “"he is preparing a brig for carrying them:" Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster, Feb 8, 1839.,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed July 16, 2024, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/229.