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John McElroy, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS23

Scope and Contents

The John McElroy, SJ Papers contain diaries, correspondence, Golden Jubilee materials, retreat notes, biographical information and other writings, and some business and financial records from McElroy’s tenure as Procurator of Georgetown College. McElroy’s diary (1813-1821) documents enslaved people at Georgetown College and at several Jesuit plantations in Maryland.

Materials on Slavery

Some folders 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.


  • 1803 - 1905


Collection-level Access Restrictions

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.

Biographical / Historical

John McElroy, S.J. was born in Ireland in 1782, and came to the United States in 1803 at age 21. McElroy entered Georgetown College in 1806, the same year in which he joined the Society of Jesus as a lay brother. McElroy eventually assumed the role of Procurator, managing Georgetown's financial affairs, and in 1817 was ordained a priest. After a short period as assistant pastor at Holy Trinity Church, he was sent to Federick, where he remained from 1823 to 1845. He was instrumental in establishing St. John’s Church and St. John’s Literary Institution (both in Frederick). He then served as a Chaplain in Mexico during the Mexican-American War, after which he went to Boston, where he helped found Boston College. He died in 1877.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations


Materials are arranged by subject and by date.

Related Materials

Materials pertaining to John McElroy, S.J. are also housed in the Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus:

Series 7.4 - Papers of Individual Priests of the Maryland Province - John McElroy, S.J.

John McElroy, SJ papers
Cassandra N. Berman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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