Record Details

Catalog Search

The 272 : the families who were enslaved and sold to build the American Catholic Church / Rachel L. Swarns.

Swarns, Rachel L., (author.).

"In 1838, a group of America's most prominent Catholic priests sold 272 enslaved people to save their largest mission project, what is now Georgetown University. In this groundbreaking account, journalist, author, and professor Rachel L. Swarns follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement to uncover the harrowing origin story of the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the saga of the Mahoney family, Swarns illustrates how the Church relied on slave labor and slave sales to sustain its operations and to help finance its expansion."

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780399590863
  • ISBN: 0399590862
  • Physical Description: xviii, 326 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm.
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Random House, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-313) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Arrivals -- A church's captives -- Freedom fever -- A new generation -- The promise -- A college on the rise -- Love and peril -- Saving Georgetown -- The sale -- A family divided -- Exile -- New roots -- Freedom -- The profits.
Subject: Georgetown University > History.
Jesuits > United States > History.
Catholic Church > United States > History.
Slavery and the church > Catholic Church.
Slavery and the church > United States > History.
Slavery > Maryland > History.
Slavery > United States > History.
African Americans > History.
African Americans > Genealogy.
Racism > United States.
Genre: Biographies.

Available copies

  • 0 of 2 copies available at Lehigh Valley Library System. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Bethlehem Area Public Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethlehem Main Library 306.362 (Text) 33062009765745 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 10/23/2023

Additional Resources