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Paul and Anthony Kohlmann, SJ papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS16

Scope and Contents

The Paul and Anthony Kohlmann, SJ papers consist of a heavily annotated printed, bound volume with several pages of manuscript notes inserted. The bound item is a copy of volume one of Joannes Caspar Saettler's Theologia Moralis Universa (Strasbourg, 1776). Bound with it is a printed German catechism, several pages of manuscript notes in various hands, and a handwritten exhortation in English, circa 1815-1819. The exhortation, bearing the Latin title “Exhortatio ad nigros servos” (“An exhortation to black slaves”), is addressed to the enslaved community at White Marsh, the Jesuit plantation in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It attempts to rationalize that the enslaved community has a Catholic duty to work diligently for the Jesuits. It also explains that only those “disobedient to the overseer” were in danger of being sold; this was an attempt to compel obedience, as well as an acknowledgment that enslaved individuals had been sold away from White Marsh - and their families and community - in the past. The address has been attributed, at various times, to Paul Kohlmann, S.J. (who was stationed at White Marsh in 1815 and again in 1819), and also his brother Anthony Kohlmann, S.J., who was master of novices at White Marsh from 1815 to 1817. The Kohlmann Papers also contains a typed transcription of the “Exhortatio.”

Materials on Slavery

Materials in this collection contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. The Jesuits of the Maryland Province operated plantations that relied on the labor of enslaved individuals.


  • 1776
  • circa 1815-1819


Language of Materials

Material is mostly in Latin, with some English and German. The “Exhortatio ad nigros servos” is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Paul Kohlmann was born on March 20, 1766 in Alsace, France. After being ordained as a priest, he entered the Society of Jesus on July 12, 1814. He lived at the White Marsh Jesuit plantation in Maryland in 1815 and again in 1819. Other than these years, Kohlmann was stationed in Pennsylvania, living at the Conewago and Goshenhoppen missions until 1835. In 1836, Kohlmann began teaching theology at Georgetown College, where he remained until his death on October 10, 1838.

Kohlmann’s younger brother, Anthony (born Anton), was also a member of the Society of Jesus. He was born on July 13, 1771, also in Alsace, France. He served as Superior of the American Mission in 1817, and as the tenth president of Georgetown College in 1820. Notably, Anthony Kohlmann advocated that the Maryland Jesuits sell their plantations - and their enslaved property - and invest in more profitable ventures. Anthony Kohlmann died in 1836.


0.25 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

Related Materials

The Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus contains materials pertaining to both Paul Kohlmann and Anthony Kohlmann; there are also many records pertaining to White Marsh in this collection. See especially Series 1 - Records of the Provincial, Subseries 1 - Correspondence, Chronological.

Paul and Anthony Kohlmann, SJ papers
Cassandra N. Berman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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