The death and burial of Margaret Smallwood, April 21, 1837

Dublin Core

Title

The death and burial of Margaret Smallwood, April 21, 1837

Subject

Slave labor; Death and burial; Burial Records

Description

These two documents from 1837 provide an account of the death and burial of Margaret Smallwood, an enslaved woman who worked and died at Georgetown College at the age of 45. Margaret was born in St. Mary's County and was buried at the College Ground.

The "College Ground" was located near the site of the Reiss Science Building. This cemetery was built over in 1953 and the remains of roughly fifty people were reinterred at Mount Olivet Cemetery, but those remains were only a small fraction of all the people who were buried there.

Transcription and translation of the excerpt from the House Diary is as follows:

Transcription
Margarita pia (et) fidelissima collegii serva hoc vespere vita functa, post quorumdam dierum infirmitatem, quam patienter tullit, recipiens opportune sacramenta (et) auxilia spiritualia.  Rev. Bnus O’Reilly veniens ex Baltimore coenam sumpsit (et) pernoctavit in collegio.  Apparuit aurora borealis per horam.

Translation
Margarita, a pious and most faithful slave of the college this evening died, after an illness of a certain number of days, which she patiently bore, receiving in time the sacraments and spiritual remedies.  Reverend Bnus O’Reilly, coming from Baltimore, had supper and spent the night in the College.  The aurora borealis appeared for an hour.

Thanks to Professor Josiah Osgood in the Georgetown Classics Department for transcribing and translating this document.

The Holy Trinity burial register notes the following:

[April 1837] 21st Margaret Smallwood (col'd) wife to Charles Smallwood, from St. Mary's County, belonging to Georgetown College, was buried in the College Graveyard 45

 

Creator

Georgetown University
Holy Trinity Church

Source

Holy Trinity Church Deaths, 1818-1867 (p.72), Digital Georgetown.

House Diary, 1828-1872, Box 1, Folder 2 (550-7), Georgetown University Archives, Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Lauinger Library, Georgetown University.

Publisher

Georgetown Slavery Archive

Date

04-21-1837

Contributor

Elsa Barraza Mendoza, Josiah Osgood

Rights

Georgetown University Library

Relation

Format

PDF

Language

Latin
English

Type

Manuscript

Identifier

GSA312

Text Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Manuscript

Files

Citation

Georgetown University Holy Trinity Church , “The death and burial of Margaret Smallwood, April 21, 1837,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed September 25, 2018, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/341.

Geolocation