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4.1 Alexandria, Georgetown, Washington, 1806 - 1960


Scope and Contents

This subseries contains the records of Jesuit Houses located in Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, D.C. Materials include official House records such as the Litterae Annuae (annual letters), Historia Domus (House histories), and diaries, financial records, publications, newsclippings, and correspondence. The Jesuits residing in these Houses ministered to several disparate groups comprised of both the wealthy and the working poor, including national political leaders, planter-merchants, free and enslaved Black communities, and immigrants from Europe, as well as the students of Georgetown College, Georgetown Preparatory School, and Washington Seminary/Gonzaga College High School. The pastoral seats for these Houses were Holy Trinity Church (located in Georgetown, founded 1787), St. Mary’s Church (in Alexandria, founded 1809), and St. Aloysius Church (in Washington, founded 1859). These churches shared many of the same priests, including noted Jesuit leaders Leonard Neale, S.J., John McElroy, S.J,, and Stephen Dubuisson, S.J. Other materials in this subseries pertain to St. Joseph’s Church (in Washington); the Georgetown Visitation Monastery and the Georgetown Novitate; Georgetown College’s Philodemic Society; and miracles (especially the so-called “Mattingly Miracle,” in which Ann Mattingly made a miraculous recovery from cancer in the 1820s).

For a more complete backgorund on Holy Trinity Church, St. Mary's Church, Washington Seminary, and Georgetown Preparatory School, please see Background on Mission Churches, Seminaries, and Schools.

The Jesuit Houses located in Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington, D.C. served the following churches:

- Holy Trinity Church (1787-present)

- St. Mary’s Church (also called Basilica of St. Mary) (Alexandria, Va.), 1809-1891 (part of the Diocese of Arlington)

- St. Aloysius Church (Washington, D.C.), 1859-present

- St. Joseph’s Church (Washington, D.C.), 1868-1886

- St. Ann Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.), 1868-1880

Researchers should consult with the parishes themselves for access to sacramental records. Except for St. Mary’s Church, which is part of the Diocese of Arlington, the churches listed here are all part of the Archdiocese of Washington.

For more information, see Holy Trinity Church Pastors and Rectors and Pastors of Washington Seminary, Gonzaga College, and St. Aloysius Church.

**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. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.

Provenance and Arrangement

Materials are arranged alphabetically by House and/or subject. All materials in this subseries are part of the original collection placed on deposit at Georgetown in the 1970s.

Conditions Governing Access

Most materials dated 1900 and later have not been digitized. Materials dating 1900-1939 are available for research use at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. All materials dated 1940 and later are restricted.


  • 1806 - 1960


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

Related Collections

Because of the proximity of these Houses to Georgetown, there are related collections held at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections:

  • The Georgetown University Archives includes records related to the Georgetown House, Washington Seminary, and Georgetown Preparatory School. It also holds records of the Old Parish Cemetery/Holy Rood Cemetery, the burial grounds for members of Holy Trinity Church (GTA-00014).
  • Holy Trinity Church has deposited its Archives (GTM 820908, GTM 980101) at BFCSC. Its sacramental registers have been posted in Digital Georgetown.
  • The Gonzaga College Collection (GTM-00018) includes student account books (1821-1856), day and cash book (1848-1856), school diary (1850-1854), and St. Aloysius Church pew rent book (1864-1865).

Additional Resources

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository