Oral Histories

The Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC)
The Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC) has conducted over 175 oral histories of African American life in St. Mary’s County. These stories focus on African American life in the twentieth century, providing rich accounts of everyday life and the long-term effects of the Jesuit mission on African American communities. These oral histories are curated through the SlackWater Archive at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


Alice Bennett speaks about the Jesuits’ expectations of their enslaved laborers, and the dignity that came from Louisa Mahoney’s long service. 


Alice Bennett, Mary Fleming, and Nicholas Biscoe speak about Catholic spirituality.


George Forrest, James Forrest, Sr., Everlyn Holland, and Mary Fleming speak about segregation and racial prejudice in the Catholic Church.


Alice Bennett speaks about early twentieth century interracial dialogues.
The SlackWater Archive
Ernest Dyson, Alice Bennett, Nicholas Biscoe, Helen Fenwick, Sarah Butler, and Theresa Cassagnol speak about education, mutual aid, and employment within the Catholic community
The SlackWater Archive houses hundreds of narratives of twentieth century life in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The narratives are told by the descendants of enslavers and enslaved Africans; they reveal a continual struggle to make a living through farming and on the bay. Several oral histories are narrated by people who lived on Jesuit-owned land ca. 1900-1950, whereas other narratives are representative of life in the early twentieth century St. Mary’s County.


Elsie Bean and Ruth Knott describe the lives of white tenant farmers at early twentieth century St. Inigoes.


Susan Delahay relates her experiences living at the Newtowne manor house at Newtowne for fifty years during the twentieth century.


Marguerite Rhodes and Adelaide Trossbach mention the Jesuit scholastics’ summer visits to the Villa.


Marie Smith, Joseph Thomas, and Calvert Biscoe provide insight into the lives of African Americans living around St. Inigoes during the early twentieth century.
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