The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church

The 272

By Rachel L. Swarns. The story of a group of Catholic priests who in 1838 sold 272 enslaved people to save their largest mission project, what later became Georgetown University. Follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement illustrating how the Church relied on slave labor and slave sales to sustain its operations and to help finance its expansion. Also shines a light on the enslaved people whose forced labor helped to build the largest religious denomination in the nation. Read more.