|White Marsh Catholic Church (Sacred Heart)|
White Marsh was first called St. Francis Borgia, and was one of the early Catholic Jesuit Missions in the English colonies. The land where Sacred Heart sits is from a 2000-acre land bequeathed with 100 slaves from James Carroll, cousin of Charles Carroll of Annapolis, to George Thorold, a Jesuit priest. Upon the death of James Carroll in 1729, George Thorold of Charles County, and his fellow Jesuits took possession of the land and developed a farm, which they called White Marsh Plantation. White Marsh was the center of Catholic life in Prince George’s County.
"The Fathers who resided there made missionary trips to various locations in the county and to Annapolis, Baltimore, Doughoregan Manor and areas of the present day District of Columbia."
One of the earlier priest at the White Marsh was Rev. John Lewis who was named Superior of the Catholic Church in 1784. During this period, the Jesuit Fathers of White Marsh, with the help of indentured servants and slave labor worked the plantation as private citizens and served the Catholic communities in Prince George’s and nearby counties. The earliest known slaves at the White Marsh were those owned by Rev. John Lewis. In a memoranda, Lewis recorded having "at the Lower Quarters: Nanny, Kate and her child, Fanny born 1762, and Samuel 1764, Ruth, Terry, Regis, (Sampson, Jenny), Frank and children, Lucy, Davi, Nancy, Paul, and Henrietta born May 1763." One priest in particular Father John Ashton, owned a number of slaves during his time at White Marsh. Many the slaves owned by Ashton, as many as twelve at one time, ran away from his service. Some the slaves in the Queen and Mahoney family petitioned the courts for their freedom against Rev. Ashton.
"Following the Revolutionary War the Jesuit Fathers under the leadership of John Carroll, S.J. called several meetings of the clergy for the purpose of organizing the Catholic Church in America. The meetings, called the General Chapters, took place in 1783 and were held at White Marsh Plantation. Deliberations of the General Chapters led to the appointment of John Carroll by the Vatican as Prefect Apostolic, making him superior of the missionary church in the thirteen states, and to the first plans for Georgetown University. Also at White Marsh, the priests of the new nation elected John Carroll as the first American bishop on May 18,1789."
|Father John Carroll|
"Since the great stir raised in England about Slavery, my Brethren being anxious to suppress censure, which some are always glad to affix to the priesthood, have begun some years ago, and are gradually proceeding to emancipate the old population on their estates. To proceed at once to make it a general measure, would not be either humanity toward the Individuals, nor doing justice to the trust, under which the estates have been transmitted and received."White Marsh became a Novitiate for young men studying for the priesthood, after it was moved from Georgetown in 1814, where it remained for twenty years. A fire at White Marsh occurred May 15, 1853. The fire that destroyed the church also destroyed the early records of the congregation. "The fire destroyed the priest house, the church and the vacant old Novitiate building. The chapel was rebuilt in 1856. By 1874 the priest house was restored and a large addition was added to the front of the building." In 1876, a bell tower was added to the chapel.
Charles County Court Records, November 1742 Court, Liber T#2, Page 463. Pursuant to an order of last August Charles County Court, Commission issued, returnable here, to Robert Yates, William Penn, John Maddox, & Barton Warren, to examine witnesses touching the bounds of a tract of land in possession of Atwicks Fearson.
And now here, John Maddox & Barton Warren return to this Court the Commission aforesaid, with the certificate and deposition thereto annexed - viz
To Robert Yates, William Penn, John Maddox, & Barton Warren, Gentlemen. Whereas Atwicks Fearson is in possession of a parcel of land lying in a Bite between Neals Creek and a branch making out of the said Creek of Neals called Back Creek, bounded on the north and west with certain lines and distances as per certificate directed, laid out for William Hungerford, the right of which land having lately laid in John Newman, deceased, and now in John Newman, his son, Minor, did, on Aug 10, in the 28th year of our Dominion, prefer his petition to Charles County Court on the day aforesaid, before Robert Hanson, Gentleman, and his associates, for Commission to examine witnesses to prove and perpetuate the memory of the bounds of the said tract of land, know that we have given you (not being any way related to the petitioner, contiguous proprietor, nor interested in said land) power to examine witnesses as aforesaid. Signed Aug 14, 1742 - Edm'd Porteus, Clerk.
We have taken the several depositions as above, pursuant to a Commission to us directed. Signed Sep 21, 1742 - John Maddox, Barton Warren.
Charles County. The deposition of Walter Fearson, age about 37, who declares that about 23-24 years ago, his father told him that a red oak standing near the head of a small branch called Hungerfords branch, was the beginning tree of a tract of land then in possession of John Newman, at the stump of which tree now stands a locust post, and further says that a white oak was a corner tree which parted George Newman's land and Samuel Fearson's and since in possession of John Newman, and likewise declares that a white oak now down that his father told him was a line tree and the courses now answers. Signed - Walter (W his mark) Fearson.
Charles County. The deposition of Mr. Raphael Neale, aged about 59, who declares that about 12 years ago that John Newman told him that a white oak standing at the end of 70 perches from a bounded red oak or post standing at the head of Hungerford branch, was a dividing tree between him and his uncle, George Newman. Signed - Raphael Neale.
Charles County. The deposition of Mr. Barton Hungerford, age about 56, who declares that the abovesaid white oak, by what Samuel Fearson told him, about 35 years [ago], is the 2nd bound tree of a tract of land now in possession of John Newman, by the courses. Signed - Barton Hungerford.
Charles County. The deposition of Alexander Sims, age about 41, who declares that about 8-9 years ago, that [at] the aforesaid white oak, that he heard Mr. Raphael Neale, John Newman, & John Hamill, they all acknowledged the aforesaid white oak was a bound tree of John Newman's land. Signed - Alexander Sims.
(Raphael Neale is my second cousin 8 times removed. Our common ancestors are Benjamin Gill & Mary Mainwaring.)