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272 Slaves Were Sold To Keep Georgetown University Afloat in 1838

The Catholic Church held slaves in America (and perhaps elsewhere), and when the premiere Catholic College in the Americas got into financial trouble, the Jesuits organized the sale of 272 slaves to raise money to keep the School afloat. The Church also operated several plantations in southern Maryland to fund the School which used slave labor.

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

The human cargo was loaded on ships at a bustling wharf in the nation’s capital, destined for the plantations of the Deep South. Some slaves pleaded for rosaries as they were rounded up, praying for deliverance.

But on this day, in the fall of 1838, no one was spared: not the 2-month-old baby and her mother, not the field hands, not the shoemaker and not Cornelius Hawkins, who was about 13 years old when he was forced onboard.

Their panic and desperation would be mostly forgotten for more than a century. But this was no ordinary slave sale. The enslaved African-Americans had belonged to the nation’s most prominent Jesuit priests. And they were sold, along with scores of others, to help secure the future of the premier Catholic institution of higher learning at the time, known today asGeorgetown University.

Now, with racial protests roiling college campuses, an unusual collection of Georgetown professors, students, alumni and genealogists is trying to find out what happened to those 272 men, women and children. And they are confronting a particularly wrenching question: What, if anything, is owed to the descendants of slaves who were sold to help ensure the college’s survival?

More than a dozen universities — including Brown, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Virginia — have publicly recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But the 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out for its sheer size, historians say.

At Georgetown, slavery and scholarship were inextricably linked. The college relied on Jesuit plantations in Maryland to help finance its operations, university officials say. (Slaves were often donated by prosperous parishioners.) And the 1838 sale — worth about $3.3 million in today’s dollars — was organized by two of Georgetown’s early presidents, both Jesuit priests.

Some of that money helped to pay off the debts of the struggling college.

“The university itself owes its existence to this history,” said Adam Rothman, a historian at Georgetown and a member of a university working group that is studying ways for the institution to acknowledge and try to make amends for its tangled roots in slavery.

Although the working group was established in August, it was student demonstrations at Georgetown in the fall that helped to galvanize alumni and gave new urgency to the administration’s efforts.

The students organized a protest and a sit-in, using the hashtag #GU272 for the slaves who were sold. In November, the university agreed to remove the names of the Rev. Thomas F. Mulledy and the Rev. William McSherry, the college presidents involved in the sale, from two campus buildings.

An alumnus, following the protest from afar, wondered if more needed to be done.

That alumnus, Richard J. Cellini, the chief executive of a technology company and a practicing Catholic, was troubled that neither the Jesuits nor university officials had tried to trace the lives of the enslaved African-Americans or compensate their progeny.

Mr. Cellini is an unlikely racial crusader. A white man, he admitted that he had never spent much time thinking about slavery or African-American history.

But he said he could not stop thinking about the slaves, whose names had been in Georgetown’s archives for decades…

Broken Promises

There are no surviving images of Cornelius, no letters or journals that offer a look into his last hours on a Jesuit plantation in Maryland.

He was not yet five feet tall when he sailed onboard the Katharine Jackson, one of several vessels that carried the slaves to the port of New Orleans.

Photo

The ship manifest of the Katharine Jackson, available in full at the Georgetown Slavery archive, listed the name, sex, age and height of each slave transported to New Orleans in the fall of 1838. It showed that the cargo included dozens of children, among them infants as young as 2 months old…

.Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in American Genocide, Black History

 

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Georgetown Basketball Team Attacked and Mugged In China While Chinese Police Do Nothing

This was at a Georgetown-China “goodwill” game last night. A Georgetown player scrambles against a Chinese player for a loose ball, and comes up with the ball. After throwing it to a team mate, the Chinese player attacks the Georgetown player, who seeks to get away from the altercation by backing away. At this point 4-5 Chinese players attack the Georgetown player, knock him to the ground and begin beating him. The Georgetown bench clears to protect their guy, resulting in a free for all, with Chinese fans joining in against the Georgetown players. The Chinese Police…

Do nothing.

Georgetown vs. China Brawl Video: Friendly Contest Turns into Rumble for Hoyas

The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team was supposed to be in China on a goodwill tour, and their exhibition against the Bayi Rockets on Thursday night was supposed to be a friendly contest.

Unfortunately, neither of those ideas panned out.

As you can see in the above video clip, things got pretty ugly between the Hoyas and Rockets. It’s clear early on that the two teams were playing a very physical game, but things boiled over. The result was a nasty scene that involved several different confrontations, players brandishing chairs as weapons and spectators throwing bottles at the Hoyas from the stands.

As Gene Wang of the Washington Post tells the tale, things unraveled with a little over nine minutes to go in the game, and it was actually the second time that the benches had emptied during the proceedings. This time, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III pulled his team off the court.

While this video clip alone may make it look like this was just a physical game that went horribly awry, it sounds like there might be a little more to it than that. As Wang noted, the Hoyas were called for more than twice as many fouls as the Rockets, and Dana O’Neill ofESPN pointed out that the Rockets were also granted 57 free throws. The Hoyas took just 15.

If nothing else, that’s lousy officiating. And because the Hoyas were consistently on the short end, it’s easy to deduce that the cards were stacked against them. One can understand if they played the game frustrated.

If you’re wondering why security did nothing to break up the brawl once it started, Wang noted that Chinese police chose to stay out of it: “The Chinese police had been watching the tensions escalate to the point of physical confrontations but made no attempts to break up any of the fights taking place on the court.”

Given the circumstances surrounding this fracas, it’s clear that there’s something just a little off about the whole scene. While it would be a stretch to say that the Hoyas were lured into a fight, it definitely sounds like they soon found themselves in a fight that was fixed. In the end, it’s a miracle nobody was hurt.

Either way, this is just an ugly, ugly turn of events. As a result, don’t be surprised if the Hoyas decide it’s best to cancel the rest of their goodwill tour.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in News

 

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President Obama at Georgetown/Duke Basketball Game

President Obama and VP Joe Biden attended the Georgetown-Duke basketball game today in DC (Georgetown won).The Prez makes a pretty good commentator!

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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