Talk: Through the Lens of Data: The Enslaved Community Owned and Sold by the Maryland Province Jesuits (
Talk: Sharon Leon (MSU), Through the Lens of Data: The Enslaved Community Owned and Sold by the Maryland Province Jesuits
Fri, Feb 22 | 2 PM | McCormick Lounge
In 1838 Thomas Mulledy, S.J. signed his name to an agreement selling the 275 enslaved persons who resided on Jesuit-owned estates in Southern Maryland to Louisiana. The sale served as the culmination of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus’s fraught experience with slaveholding in the colonial and early national period. While much historical work has been written on Jesuit slaveholding, that writing has primarily focused on the implications for the religious community and the moral universe in which these men made their decisions about slavery. Thus far, however, no scholar has studied the enslaved people themselves. In the Jesuit Plantation Project <http://jesuitplantationproject.org > Sharon Leon focuses on the lives and experiences of the enslaved, rather than on their Jesuit owners.
Focusing on the enslaved community itself makes this project ideally suited for digital methods. With an eye to the events and relationships that formed the warp and woof of the daily lives of this enslaved community, Leon has worked to identify more than 1,000 individual enslaved people present in the documentary evidence between roughly 1740 and 1840, and to situate them within their families and larger community. In processing and representing this archival research, the project employs linked open data and an array of techniques to visualize the entire community of enslaved people and their relationships to one another across space and time. These approaches allow for a focus on the distinct individuality of each enslaved person and for the capacity to pull back to grasp the community in aggregate, noting trends and changes in their experiences and relationships during their time in Maryland. This presentation will explore the landscape of labor and economic transactions that governed the lives of the enslaved community during the course of their lives in Southern Maryland.
Please RSVP to Kyle Roberts (email@example.com).