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'The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church'

On August 16, 2016, the front page of the New York Times featured a story about how Georgetown University had staved off a financial crisis in 1838 through the sale of some 272 slaves for the equivalent of $3.3 million. That story stimulated a period of introspection by Georgetown about its past role in the slave trade and what, if anything, it owed the descendants of those slaves.

The article was written by journalist Rachel Swarns who has now followed up that reporting with a new book about the real human beings that were sold in 1838, a book entitled “The 272.”

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