The Joseph Mosley, SJ Papers consist of sixteen letters written by Mosley to his family, and cover the period from 1757-1786. Fifteen of the letters are addressed to “Mrs. Dunn Junior,” Mosley’s sister (living in Northumberland, England); one letter is to his brother, Michael Mosley, SJ (living in Shropshire, England). The letters contain commentary on the environment, politics, and residents of colonial Maryland, and on Jesuit life in the Maryland region, especially in relation to the establishment of missions in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, and Talbot County (St. Joseph’s), Maryland. Mosley’s letters also reveal his exploitation of enslaved individuals in founding the Jesuits’ Talbot County mission and plantation, and describe the conditions under which enslaved people lived.
Note: A selection of Mosley’s letters have been transcribed and published in the Woodstock Letters, Volume 35 and in the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society, Volume 17 (part 1 and part 2) .
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.
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Joseph Mosley, SJ was born in Lincolnshire, England, on November 16, 1731. He was educated at the Jesuit college in St. Omer, France, then entered the Society of Jesus in 1748. In 1758, Mosley went to Maryland, where he worked at missions in Charles County and St. Mary’s County. In 1765, while residing in the Jesuit House in Newtown, he founded the Mission of St. Joseph’s in Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He was in the service of St. Joseph’s until his death on June 3, 1787.
0.25 Linear Feet
Materials are arranged chronologically.
Correspondence about the collection's transmittal to Georgetown, which used to be housed with the collection itself (labeled Folder 17), has been moved to the Curatorial Files at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. Please contact staff for more information.
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository