Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Georgetown University Is Trying to Purge Its Slave Trade Connections

"Georgetown University is known for its stately buildings, top-notch programs and long history. But that history has a dark side, too: The Catholic university, which was founded in 1789 and is located in Washington, DC, got some of its funding from the sale of slaves. Now, the school has decided to rename two buildings that reflect its ties to that industry, reports Katherine Shaver for The Washington Post.
The school’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation recently recommended that the university’s president, John J. DeGioia, rename a residence hall, Mulledy Hall, and a meditation center, McSherry Hall, reports Shaver. The move comes after a sit-in outside of De Gioia’s office and demands that the halls be renamed.
Mulledy Hall, which was recently constructed, was named for Thomas F. Mulledy, who incurred a large debt while serving as Georgetown’s president in the 1830s. To finance the debt, he oversaw the sale of 272 slaves under the auspices of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen, a Jesuit organization that owned a tobacco plantation in Maryland and went on to found Georgetown. WAMU’s Michael Pope explains that Mulledy disregarded orders to keep the slaves’ families intact and not to use the sale of slaves to pay debts. ulledy Hall will be temporarily named Freedom Hall, Shaver reports..."
Georgetown University

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