On the management of Newtown: Fr. Vespre to Fr. Woodley, April 16, 1844

Dublin Core


On the management of Newtown: Fr. Vespre to Fr. Woodley, April 16, 1844


Maryland Province; Slavery - Slave sale; Society of Jesus; Newtown; Management-Farm costs


The Procurator of the Province, Fr. Vespre, writes to Fr. Woodley, manager of Newtown, to express his dissatisfaction with the management of that plantation. In particular, he inquires about the enslaved person bought by Woodley from Mrs. Smith and reminds him that he cannot finalize that transaction with money from the province.


Maryland Province Archives, Society of Jesus


Georgetown Slavery Archive




Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza, Transcription by Hillary MacKinlay


Maryland Province Jesuits










Text Item Type Metadata


[page 23]
[April 16, 1844 at George Town College, to Rev. R D Woodley]
Revd & Dr Fr in Ht
            Your acct current with the Agent at Newtown has come to hand: you ask me how I like your method of keeping accts!
            To be candid, I don’t like it at all, because there are too many charges mad against the Province, which ought and must be made against the residence. According to to your method of proceeding, a very small portion of the rents, comparatively speaking, will come to the General fund, but must go to the support of the residence. To the painting, glazing, buying, furnishers, &c &c. Now, this, Fr Provincial will not permit in any manner whatever….He directs me to say to you that the residence of Newtown must support itself and not interfere, directly or indirectly with the rents or monies coming from the Tenants of Newtown, Hence all charges in your acct for improvements, furniture &c about & for the residence will not be allowed...That if the congregations & land about the House, will not support the Clergymen there, they will be withdrawn and sent elsewhere. The charges of August 16th and Sep 1/42 will no be allowed as Messrs Barber & Clark were working for you all the time they were there.
            The three charges of Hamilton for painting, repairing &c of house, viz $82.50 - $11500/100 & $8800/100 will not be allowed. Neale & Lucketts Bill for Furniture $7831/100 - Greenwells Do for 6 Dormants $4500/100 - Jackson Mores’ Do $6000/100 - Board of 7. Metoyer to date $1500/100 - Neale & Lucketts’ bill $1856/100 - Board of Wm D. Wynn $2000/100 will not be allowed.

[page 24]
            Extra for students $11740/100 will not be allowed because you told me, that in case I should send some flour, meat & other provisions, which I did, you wd not ask anything more...Board of Br Barron $10800/100. F. Powers recollected return $1000/100 will not be allowed. Besides there are other items which I would wish to have explained when I see you.
            I can only say, that if we go on doing business in this manner in the Society, viz, every man for himself, we must soon arrive at an unenviable degree of notoriety: it is an anomaly in the Society. Let us all be united and labour for the general good and not solely for the advantage of any particular residence, or individual interest.
            The acct current of the residence which you sent Fr Provincial amounts to nothing. The acct is not balanced by giving the cash in hand & consequently leaves us as wise as before, except the sole fact of your expenses exceeding your income by $23759/100.
            Now if this be the case, Fr Provincial thinks you must be a bad manager & that you must ultimately run the place deeply in debt, and like Conewagos, be saddled on the back of the Province...This is just what Fr Provl does not wish to permit. I hope therefore you will tell us plainly how you stand. I like plain sailing. I should be glad if the acct of the farm of Newtown could be closed forthwith or as soon as possible and then we might take a fresh start. What have you done with the Negro purchased from Mrs Smith? Fr Provl directs that he must be paid for immediately (Not from the monies of the Province) or returned.



Maryland Province Archives, Society of Jesus, “On the management of Newtown: Fr. Vespre to Fr. Woodley, April 16, 1844,” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed August 11, 2022, https://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/389.