Juneteenth at Georgetown

As the university honors Juneteenth — the day commemorating June 19, 1865, as the end of the enslavement of people of African descent in the United States — we also recall the date of June 19, 1838. This date marks the sale of enslaved people by Fr. Thomas Mulledy and the Maryland Jesuits to Henry Johnson and Jesse Beatty of Louisiana.

Acknowledging the triumph of freedom, as celebrated in the day of Juneteenth, we cannot forget those times when freedom was denied.

The Georgetown Slavery Archive includes a number of historical documents relating to emancipation and freedom. These include the successful freedom suits lodged against founders of Georgetown in the 1790s and early 19th century; the occasional manumissions of enslaved people owned by the College; and emancipation in Washington, DC, as well as Maryland and Louisiana.

A selection of documents relating to enslavement and emancipation:

Additional documents are available by searching the Georgetown Slavery Archive.