4.6 St. Thomas Manor (Charles County, Md.), 1788 - 1970
Scope and Contents
This subseries contains records related to St. Thomas Manor, the Jesuit House in Charles County, Maryland. Materials include Litterae Annuae, Historia Domus, a sacramental register (recording baptisms, marriages, and burials), correspondence, House library lists, financial records, publications, histories, newsclippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera.
Established in 1642, St. Thomas Manor is the only House in Southern Maryland still maintained by the Jesuits. It is also the oldest residence continuously occupied by the Society of Jesus in the world, and its parish seat, St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point, is the oldest continuously active parish in what was formerly colonial British North America.
The manor and church were set in the middle of a plantation of 3,000 acres that straddled the Port Tobacco River. The missions of St. Thomas Manor extended throughout Charles County, ministering to a diverse populace: members of the Catholic gentry, tenant farmers, and enslaved people. After emancipation, Black and white parishioners separated, forming distinct sodalities, schools, and other types of associations within their parishes. With the exception of St. Ignatius, all churches were eventually transferred to Archdiocesan control (see specific dates below).
The following churches were served by the Jesuits of St. Thomas Manor:
- St. Ignatius Church (Port Tobacco, Md.), 1642-present (Seat of St.Thomas Manor; Alternative names: St. Ignatius-Chapel Point)
- St. Mary’s Church (Charlotte Hall, Md.), 1698-1881 (Alternative name: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Newport)
- St. Joseph’s Church (Pomfret, Md.), 1763-1966 (Served from LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)
- St. Charles Church (Glymont, Md.) 1800-1918 (Alternative names: Cornwallis Neck Church; Pye Chapel
- St. Katherine’s Church (McConchie, Md.) 1862-1872 (Alternative names: St. Catherine’s Church; St. Catherine of Alexandria Church)
- St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Bryantown, Md.), 1808-1851
- St. Peter’s Church (Waldorf, Md.), 1838-1851
- St. Mary’s Our Lady Star of the Sea (Solomon’s Island, Calvert County, Md.), 1888-1920
- Sacred Heart Church (LaPlata, Md.), 1901-1966 (Seat of the LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)
- St. Mary Star of the Sea (Indian Head, Md.), 1909-1918
- St. Ignatius (Hilltop, Md.), 1859-1966 (Alternative names: St. Ignatius of Loyola; Served from LaPlata residence, 1926-1966)
Researchers also should consult the Archdiocese of Washington, particularly when the church is now inactive.
**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.**
Some folders in this series contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.
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.
Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. Materials in this subseries are from the original MPA placed on deposit at Georgetown in the 1970s, the MPA Addenda, and the Maryland Province Collection.
- 1788 - 1970
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
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository