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Joseph Mosley, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS25

Scope and Contents

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) .

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.


  • 1757 - 1786


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 / Historical

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.


0.2 Cubic Feet

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Related Materials

Materials pertaining to Joseph Mosley, SJ are also housed in the American Catholic Sermon Collection and the Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus

Joseph Mosley, SJ Papers
Cassandra N. Berman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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