Loyola University Maryland is a Jesuit, Catholic university located in Baltimore, Maryland. Loyola’s contributions to the Locating Slavery’s Legacies database shed light on tangible representations of Loyola’s connections to slavery and the Lost Cause on our campus, both past and present, and place our community in dialogue with educational institutions around the country seeking a fuller understanding of their difficult pasts.

The 1838 sale of 272 Black men, women, and children who were enslaved by the Maryland Province of the Jesuits is widely known to have benefitted Georgetown University, but many other institutions with ties to the Province benefitted as well, including Loyola. Proceeds from that sale facilitated the founding of Loyola College in 1852. Thereafter, the college continued to be steeped in the slave economy as the Baltimore Jesuits rented and held enslaved people even in a city where the free Black population greatly outnumbered enslaved people by 1860. After the Civil War, Loyola Jesuits promoted Lost Cause ideology, hosting public intellectuals who glorified the south and sugarcoated slavery. The college’s move from downtown to northern Baltimore in 1921 can be attributed in part to the largesse of Confederate soldier and Lost Cause advocate George Carrell Jenkins. A hall in his name remains at the center of Loyola’s bucolic campus. Blackface performances and other manifestations of white supremacy continued to permeate the college well after it accepted its first full time Black student, Charles Dorsey, in 1949.

By the summer of 2021, the university formed an ad hoc committee to consider the significance of this past. Shortly thereafter, Loyola’s president created a task force to study Loyola’s relationship to slavery. Without knowledge of that yet to be announced task force, an archivist, historian, and writing professor applied for an Aperio grant from Loyola’s Center for the Humanities to research, teach, write about, and publish these histories. As those involved in these initially independent endeavors increasingly collaborated, students conducted crucial research and descendants of the 272 helped to guide and inform Loyola’s considerations on everything from the ever-evolving historical narratives to strategies for restitution and repair. Loyola’s participation in the LSL database is a part of the continuation of these efforts.