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1.1 Correspondence, Chronological, 1805-1883


Scope and Contents

Subseries 1.1 is comprised of correspondence related to the Provincial, or head, of the Maryland Province, and spans the years 1805 to 1883. During the period of the Mission of the American Federation (1805-1833), this position was also referred to as "Superior"; by 1833, with the founding of the Maryland Province, the term "Provincial" came into use. Most letters in the subseries are addressed to the Provincials themselves, but the subseries also contains letters received by their advisees, including the Socius, Consultors, Procurators, and Board Members of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen. Written primarily by members of the Society of Jesus, this correspondence addresses most of the major issues confronting the Province as it established itself in the United States: the establishment of Houses of Jesuit formation, preparatory schools, and colleges (including Georgetown College); the administration of the Jesuit estates (plantations) in Southern Maryland and Pennsylvania, including questions related to the ownership of enslaved people; the recruitment of members of the Province; the evaluation of members' performance, fulfillment of vows and rules, and commitment to the Society of Jesus; the mediation of conflict among members, including over the treatment of enslaved individuals; the supervision of pastoral missions; relations with diocesan prelates; questions related to the expansion of the Province, including the formation of the Missouri Province; missions in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York; and the merger of the Mission of New York with the Maryland Province to form the Maryland-New York Province in 1879.

**Please note: the finding aid contains Scope and Contents notes for each folder. This folder-level description has been imported from an older finding aid. Researchers may encounter outdated or potentially offensive terminology and occasional inaccuracies. If you would like to notify Special Collections of any issues that need correcting, please contact us.**

Materials on Slavery

Some materials in this subseries contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Some materials in this subseries address the Province's 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.

Provenance and Arrangement

This subseries is comprised primarily of correspondence first selected from among the records of the Maryland Province Archives by Joseph Zwingé, S.J., in the early twentieth century. Zwingé assigned catalogue numbers to these letters, which he arranged roughly chronologically by the tenure of the Superior or Provincial. (NB: For those referencing the previous version of the MPA finding aid, most of the folders within this sub-series were part of the series titled Correspondence [202-228].)


  • 1805-1883


From the Collection: 292 boxes (292 total boxes, plus 14 card catalog drawers (201 regular boxes, 25 oversized boxes, 53 restricted regular boxes, 13 restricted oversized boxes, 14 card catalog drawers))

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages