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2.5 Estate Accounts, 1734 - 1926


Scope and Contents

Subseries 2.5 contains financial records pertaining to estate properties in southern Maryland and Pennsylvania held by the Jesuits of the Maryland Province. These records document the management of plantations that depended upon enslaved labor, and of lands leased to tenant farmers. The Province’s Procurators maintained financial records of the estates detailing day-to-day expenses; accounts with overseers, vendors, and trading partners; the costs of provisions for enslaved laborers; the construction and repair of buildings; and tenants’ rent books. This subseries contains both compiled and individual records of the Province’s estates, and documents the following properties: Bohemia, Bushwood Farms (near Newtown), Conewago, Goshenhoppen, Newtown, St. Inigoes (and the nearby St. Clement’s Island), St. Joseph’s Church, St. Thomas Manor (including Chapel Point and Cedar Point Neck), and White Marsh.

Collectively, these records reveal transformations in commercial agriculture from the early years of colonization through the beginning of the twentieth century. Documents from the eighteenth century reflect the bookkeeping practices of the Chesapeake mercantile elite, while after the American Revolution, the Jesuits began to emphasize grain production and processing, and they considered withdrawing from slave ownership. Journals and day books record transactions in chronological order, but do not track profits and losses year-to-year. Records books track different aspects of plantation operations: the performance of overseers, crop rotation, and the exporting of tobacco. Records and account books also provide census inventories of enslaved people on plantations. Rental records provide insight into the history of tenant farming in Maryland; the earliest rental records, dating from the 1730s, document some of these long-term relationships. After the Jesuits’ sale of 272 enslaved individuals in 1838, the Province leased nearly all their lands and invested in saw mills, blacksmith shops, and a steam mill; related records track advancements paid for supplies, rental payments, and debts. The account books of the early twentieth century reveal the decline of agriculture in Southern Maryland.

**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

The materials in this subseries are drawn from both the original collection placed on deposit at Georgetown in the 1970s, as well as items from the Addenda, which was deposited at Georgetown at a later date. Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject and type of record.


  • 1734 - 1926

Conditions Governing Access

The Maryland Province Archives is on deposit at Georgetown University and is the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (


From the Collection: 308 boxes (212 regular boxes, 25 oversized boxes, 58 restricted regular boxes, 13 restricted oversized boxes, plus 14 card catalog drawers )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages


Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057