Georgetown University Employee Learns the University Sold His Ancestor

The following teaser is from a must-read article posted at the New York Times website on March 24.

Jeremy Alexander, a Georgetown employee, recently discovered that his paternal great-great-great-grandmother, Anna Mahoney Jones, was one of the 272 slaves sold by two Jesuit priests at the university in 1838. Credit: Paul Jones/Georgetown University

As a Georgetown employee, Jeremy Alexander watched as the university grappled with its haunted past: the sale of slaves in 1838 to help rescue it from financial ruin.

He listened as Georgetown’s president apologized for its sins and looked for ways to make amends. And Mr. Alexander observed, with wonder, some of the slave descendants when they visited the campus.

What he did not know at the time: He was one of them.

Mr. Alexander’s paternal great-great-great grandmother, Anna Mahoney Jones, was one of the 272 slaves sold by two Jesuit priests at Georgetown for about $115,000, or $3.3 million in today’s dollars. She and her two young children were enslaved at a plantation in Ascension Parish, La.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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