Contributed by Henrietta Pike, Jeremy Alexander, Melissa Kemp, Negest Rucker, and Lynn Nehemiah
(about 1812) Louisa is born at St. Inigoes to Harry (b. abt. 1771) and Anna (b. abt 1775) Mahoney. She was descended from Ann Joice, a free woman of color who came to Maryland indentured to Charles Calvert during the 17th century. Ann Joice’s indenture papers were destroyed. Ann and her descendants were then enslaved by Henry Darnall, Charles Carroll, and the Society of Jesus. Some of Louisa’s older relatives, living at White Marsh, had successfully sued for their freedom on these grounds.
St. Inigoes is raided by British sailors during the War of 1812. Louisa’s father, Harry Mahoney, ushers the young girls safely away during the raid. While the Eucharistic vessels, bedding, and household goods are stolen by the British, Harry buries the manor’s money to ensure that it stays safe. The priest promises Harry that he and his family would never be sold and separated.
Louisa is listed on a bill of sale, but she and her mother run away to the woods while the sale is taking place. Ultimately, Louisa remains enslaved by the Jesuits at St. Inigoes. Her siblings—Anna, Robert, and Bibiana—are sold to Louisiana, while her sister Nelly is sent to work in a Jesuit household in Alexandria, Virginia.
(before 1849) Louisa marries Alex Mason, a free man of color, the son of Joseph and Henrietta Mason. Alex is a trained carpenter, who works as a laborer at St. Inigoes. They are probably married in St. Ignatius Church.
Louisa and Alex’s first child, Mary Ann, is born. Mary Ann, and Louisa and Alex’s other children, are probably baptized in St. Ignatius Church.
Louisa and Alex’s second child, Charity, is born.
Louisa and Alex’s third child, Thomas, is born.
Louisa and Alex’s fourth child, Daniel, is born.
Louisa and Alex’s fifth child, Josephine, is born.
Louisa and Alex’s sixth child, Robert, is born.
Alex Mason is murdered on the road between St. Nicholas Church and St. Mary’s City, leaving Louisa a widow with six children.
(1860s-1890s) Louisa continues to work as a housekeeper in the Jesuit residence at St. Inigoes. She lives “in a small house near the ice pond,” most likely referring to a household north of the manor house at Priest’s Point, and identified archaeologically in 1996-97. She remains in contact with family members sold to Louisiana. Louisa’s excellent memory is important for documenting the history of St. Inigoes.
Louisa is identified as “keeping house” in the census.
Louisa is identified as “keeping house” in the census. Her sons Thomas and Robert live with her.
Louisa lives with her son, Robert, and his wife, Mary. Robert continues to work as a personal servantto the Jesuits at St. Inigoes.
Louisa passesaway at the age of 97. Her life is celebrated with a large and elaborate requiem mass and funeral. She is likely buried in a segregated, now unmarked grave near St. Ignatius Church.