"Temporalities"--Report Submitted to Corporation Leadership re: Conditions on Plantations owned and operated by the Society of Jesus.

[Maryland Province Archive; Document MdP XT1]

Peter Kenney S.J.


The Consultors are requested to make an arangement on the treatment, which the slaves are to receive on all our farms, from which the local procurator cannot depart. Almost every where there is a sort of arbitrary regulation, which is different from that of other farms, & which is frequently changed by the new manager. This gives these querulous creatures cause to complain, even when they are not ill used --They are in general disaffected towards their immediate manager -- At St. Inagoes they are furious against B. Mobberly, nor can it be hoped that he can do good by remaining with them -- Indeed there have been instances of undue treatment, even allowing for exaggerations: all this should be prevented: it can only be done effectively by the Corporation -- Let then

1. their Rations be fixed -- in some places they have only had one pound & a quarter of meat: often this has not been sound --

2. Whether they are to be allowed to rear poultry or not? -& hogs --

3. Whether they are to have half of Saturday to themselves?

4. That pregnant women should not be whipped --

5. That this chastise[ment] should not be inflicted on any female in the house, where the priest lives -- sometimes they have been tied up in the priests own parlour, which is very indecorous --

6. that they should all be sent to Church on Ash-Wednesday & Good Friday, & on the patron Saint of the Churchs or place, if kept with solemnity, tho of course, they be made to work the rest of the day --

7. To devise more effectual means to promote morality & the frequentation of the sacram[ents] -- The crimes, that are reported of our slaves & their neglect of duties the most sacred to a Christian, are a reproach to a Society, that taught sanctity to Savages; but when these Crimes are committed in the very threshold of the Sanctuary, the scandal is enormous --

Great zeal, piety, prudence & charity with a regular system are requisite to check the evils attendent on the possession of slaves -- as long as our farms are cultivated by them, such constant exertions alone can keep them from becoming scenes of iniquity & disorder. Should the day ever come that the Corporation will esteem it feasible to get rid of the Slaves, either by employing whites, or letting out their lands to reputable tenents or any other way, in which it can be effected without injury to the property, it is unnecessary to say, that such an event will relieve this mission of an immense burthen, & a painful responsibility & the whole society of the odium, which is thrown on it, by people, who speak without consideration or the knowledge of the actual state of things in this country