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website documents histories of Georgetown-owned slaves

BOSTON — A website that traces the family histories of hundreds of black slaves sold by Georgetown University in 1838 has launched.

The GU272 Memory Project website made public Wednesday by Boston-based American Ancestors includes documents, photos and the indexed genealogies of thousands of descendants of slaves.

It also features recorded interviews with dozens of living descendants.

The database is based on the work of a Georgetown University graduate who refused to accept college lore that the slaves had all died soon after they were sold.

The Jesuits who ran Georgetown sold more than 300 slaves over a five-year period to a Louisiana sugar plantation to pay off mounting debt.

The announcement of the launch comes on Juneteenth, the annual observance of the 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in America.

Mark Pratt, The Associated Press