Subseries 2.5: Estate Accounts, 1734-1926
Subseries 2.5 contains financial records pertaining to estate properties in southern Maryland and Pennsylvania held by the Jesuits of the Maryland Province. These records document the management of plantations that depended upon enslaved labor, and of lands leased to tenant farmers. The Province’s Procurators maintained financial records of the estates detailing day-to-day expenses; accounts with overseers, vendors, and trading partners; the costs of provisions for enslaved laborers; the construction and repair of buildings; and tenants’ rent books. This subseries contains both compiled and individual records of the Province’s estates, and documents the following properties: Bohemia, Bushwood Farms (near Newtown), Conewago, Goshenhoppen, Newtown, St. Inigoes (and the nearby St. Clement’s Island), St. Joseph’s Church, St. Thomas Manor (including Chapel Point and Cedar Point Neck), and White Marsh.
Collectively, these records reveal transformations in commercial agriculture from the early years of colonization through the beginning of the twentieth century. Documents from the eighteenth century reflect the bookkeeping practices of the Chesapeake mercantile elite, while after the American Revolution, the Jesuits began to emphasize grain production and processing, and they considered withdrawing from slave ownership.
Some materials in this subseries contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Some materials in this subseries address the Province's 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.NOTE: 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.