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 This event seeks to transcribe seven historical documents from this sale: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 

Isaac

Charles

Nelly

Henny

Cecilia

Ruthy

Patrick

Netty

Cornelius

Francis

Susan

Gabriel

Peter

Jackson

Elizabeth

James

Delia

Susan

George

Isaac

Kitty

Austin

Isaac

Elias

Sally

Ned

Rachel

Simon

Anderson

Louisa

Ned 

Billy 

Nelly 

John 

John 

Nancy 

Patrick 

Charles 

Sally 

Nancy

Margaret 

David

Eliza

Martha

Thomas

Sarah Anne 

Nelly 

Joseph

Nell 

Kitty

Mary

Sam 

Elizabeth

Polly 

Sally

William

Mary Anne

Robert

Henry 

Harriett

Elizabeth 

Isaiah 

Mary Ellen 

Nancy 

Martha

Jenny

Betsy 

Austin

Adolph 

Henrietta

Harriett Anne 

Richard 

Nancy 

Margery 

Len Queen 

Minty 

Nancy 

Mary 

Charles 

James

Tom 

Eliza 

Reverdy

Noble

Edward

William

Bill

Maria

Mary

William

Charles 

Benedict 

Len Sweden

Sam 

John Butler 

John Coyles

Len 

Daniel  

Nace 

Bernard

William 

Tom 

Jim

Henry 

Francis 

Stephen 

Anne 

Betsy 

Matilda

Kitty

Margaret

Ginny

Crissy

Celestia

Henry

Louisa 

Teresa

Mary

Harry

Livia

Joe 

Esther 

Bill  

Peter

Stephen

Sarah

Bibiana

Mary

Betty

Bennet

Clair

John

Abraham

Susan

Priscilla

Perry  

Jarred  

Rose Anne  

Charlotte

Mary

Julianne 

Dick

Greenfield 

James

Ferdinand 

Sylvester

Christinna

Harriette

Emmeline

Elenora

Mary 

Susanna 

Ritta

Remus

Milly

Lucy

Sall

Dina

Esther

Alexis

Nace 

Nace

Biby 

Lucy

Bridget

Caroline

Basil

Martha

Anne

Gabe

Biby

Henry

Thomas

Mary

Henry

Emeline

Amanda

Elizabeth

Billy

Biby

Harriett 

Robert

Mary

Abraham 

Robert

James 

Bridget

Mary Jane

Susan 

Sally Anne

Nelly

Charles 

Bill Cush

Phil

Nelly

Louis

Gusty

George

Joseph

Harry

Anne 

Harry 

Nelly 

Gabe

Daniel 

Louise

Arnold

Anna

Arnold

Louisa

Betsy

Barney

Lucinda

Greenfield

Daniel

Watt

Teresa

Frank

Sam

Rachel

Alexander

Charlotte

Emeline

Watt

Dick

Adeline

Matt

Ginny

Catherine

Nelly

Eliza

Regis

Kitty 

Peter 

James 

Micheal

Ned 

Sally 

Alexis 

Henney

Frederick 

Jenny

Zeke

Nathan 

Henny

James

and unnamed children

“We honor the names of the unnamed,
Lift up our song for the unsung…
We choose to remember ‘cause we can’t afford to forget.”

Lyrics from “We Choose to Remember” by Nolan Williams, Jr.,
commissioned by Georgetown University for the 2017 Let Freedom Ring Celebration