D.C. Emancipation Day April 16, 2020
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in Washington, D.C. and freed over 3,000 enslaved individuals. Each year, Georgetown provides programming to engage the campus and local community in commemorating this history and reflecting on the university’s historical ties to slavery.
Georgetown Slavery Archive Virtual Transcription Event
In 1838, the Society of Jesus sold 272 enslaved persons from Maryland to Jesse Batey and Henry Johnson of Louisiana. This event seeks to transcribe seven historical documents from this sale:
- Four financial transactions naming 204 persons sold in 1838
- Two surveys of Maringouin, Louisiana
- A Freedmen’s Bureau Payroll from 1867
These documents give us a glimpse of the financial aspects of the 1838 sale, the plantations where these persons labored under slavery, and their lives during Reconstruction.
Once transcribed and reviewed, these documents will be accessible to the public at the Georgetown Slavery Archive, the online repository of documents related to the Maryland Jesuits, Georgetown University, and slavery.
Remembering the 272 Ancestors
Honoring the 272 men, women, and children enslaved and sold by the Maryland Jesuits is an important ritual in Georgetown’s Emancipation Day programming each year. The 1838 Articles of Agreement begin with Isaac, who is now the namesake of Isaac Hawkins Hall on Georgetown’s main campus, and conclude with “unnamed children.” The Georgetown community reads their names in honor and remembrance.
Join Us in the Reading of the Names