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

The heritage of 272 African-American slaves possessed by Maryland Jesuits and sold in 1838 to raise the financial state of Georgetown University is evident in the narrative of Rachel L. Swarns “The 272”. However, during the period the households were affected, the tale dredges into the Mahoney family, composed of Harry and Anna and their children, delivering an important dimension to evaluate the different lives influenced by the choices of the Jesuits of Maryland. This expedition of commonalities and variances between the Mahoney family and their enslavers is a way to disclose the cycle of choices and moral decisions encountered by the parties in challenging American history. The lines struggle for existence, and the prevailing heritage of trauma agitate shared ground while diverging in agency and power to influence the future. By exploring the lives of Mahoneys and the Jesuits, it is easy to illustrate a challenging world of decisions, morality, and effects permeating through generations.

Consequently, both the Mahoney family and Maryland Jesuits faced a haunting struggle for existence extensively cultivated in the brutal system of slavery. The constrained patterns of dehumanization, they have a common encounter of maneuvering a universe that seeks to rub off them for their humanity(Swarn et al. 25). Prompted into a tough lane that restricted their decisions, both of the groups found themselves struggling with oppressive facts of their period. The oppression changed familial connections, directing the Mahoneys and Maryland Jesuits to a devastating system that commanded their living. In this common struggle, every member of the Mahoney family confronted the difficulty of maintaining their value and creating a way during the frightening societal expectations that required limiting them. The pursuit of existence became a shared aspect interlacing through the lives of these groups, underlining the worldly human need to persevere during adversity.

Significantly, it is evident that trauma corresponds in the generation of the Mahoney family and the descendants of the Maryland Jesuits, interlacing a challenging world of everyday humiliation. The family of Mahoney, restricted by patterns of devastative slavery, hold permanent scars directed in their mutual memory (Swarn et al.38). The oppressiveness persevered by Harry and Anna Mahoney left a heritage of grief dragged in the very core of their household’s chronicle. On the other side, the Maryland Jesuits’ descendants struggled with varying aspects of trauma, which is the devastative awareness that the success of their institution was connected to the humiliation directed at the enslaved. These multiple legacies of suffering underline the extensive effect of historical decisions on the human cycle as the enslaved and enslavers’ descendants were subjected to manoeuvre the intergenerational consequences of a system saturated in brutality.

The enigma of alternatives articulated by the Maryland Jesuits and the Mahoney family becomes different through the contrasting effects on influencing the future. However, the options of the Maryland Jesuits to sell their enslaved people in 1838 had dominating outcomes, as it not only captured the economic flexibility of the university but also shaped the orbit for generations(Swarn et al. 31). This choice permeated through time, influencing the basis and identity of the institution. Conversely, although the Mahoney family persevered during suffering, they struggled with unstoppable obstacles that affected their agency and power to mould their future. The dominating oppression cultivated in the core of their living restricted the capacity of Mahoney to plan their course, underling the vast outcome of institutionalized brutality on the power of people to influence their destiny. Thus, although the alternatives of the Jesuits had a permanent mark on higher education, the Mahoney family was afflicted against the challenges that penetrated their lives, showing the prevailing and distinct effects of decisions articulated in the core of history.

The implications of options articulated in the Maryland Jesuits correspond through time, extensively influencing the path of Georgetown University and casting a long shadow over the upcoming group. However, the choice to sell the enslaved captured the economic stability of the institution. It became a permanent sector of its historical identity (Swarn et al. 42). The existing outcome of his alternative resounds through the lines of Georgetown, shaping regulations, culture and the vitality of the institutions for upcoming years. On the other hand, despite the resilience of the struggle with barriers that prevented their need to influence their future. Thus, dominating oppression cultivated in their lives became a threatening force restricting their power to carve ways forward, illustrating the intensely cultivated effect of institutionalized brutality on the autonomy of people and their outlook for the future.

The moral world in which the Maryland Jesuits and Mahoney family conducted differed, importantly disclosing the challenging connection between the people’s options and the institution’s priorities. The option of the Jesuits to consider economic significance over the wellness of the enslaved people deliberated a moral dilemma(Swarn et al. 31). In deciding on institution success, they positioned economic gain above the basic standards of human dignity, establishing a threat between financial flexibility and ethical considerations. On the other hand, the Mahoney family, limited by a universe that disallowed them agency, maneuvered their living with a moral direction defined by the quest for existence, perseverance and the maintenance of their humanity. During systematic humiliation, their moral alternatives are illustrated in small, daily practices of rejection, resilience, and steadfast dedication to sustaining their humanity during difficult situations. Therefore, the moral options articulated by the Jesuits and the Mahoney family show the challenging link between individual agency, institutional considerations and the pursuit of human dignity in the systematic unfairness.

Works Cited

Swarn, Rachel L. The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church. 1838, .


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