The hoya special project:  tracing the 272

Completed 272.jpg

Donations to this project funded a week-long trip to Maringouin, Louisiana, in which members of Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya, conducted original investigative reporting into the lives of a community of descendants of the Georgetown 272. According to estimates, upwards of 75 percent of the population of just over 1,200 in that small town are descendants of the slaves that were sold to keep Georgetown university afloat in 1838. 180 years later, The Hoya investigated the socioeconomic effects of the sale. 

As an institution dedicated to investigating the impact and resulting obligations of the legacy of slavery, we need to investigate what exactly that legacy is. The descendants of the enslaved men, women and children who were sold to keep our university running are still highly localized in an area that is physically distant from our university, and The Hoya sought to bridge that distance by bringing the stories of the descendants to the community here.

Donations via SaxaFund directly supported their team’s travel, lodging, and technical expenses. The Hoya’s team included Georgetown undergraduates Derrick Arthur, Lisa Burgoa, Will Cromarty, Aly Pachter, Eliza Phillips, Shepard Thomas, and Margo Snipe, as well as journalism master’s student, Elizabeth Thomas, who is a descendant of the 272.


Throughout summer 2018, The Hoya's team began putting their funds to immediate use. Since their initial trip to Maringouin, their team has produced seven articles and is in the process of creating additional digital content. They continued their investigative work into the lives and legacies of the GU 272 and their descendants during the Fall 2018 semester.

You can read all of the articles produced through The Hoya's collaboration with SaxaFund here.

Previous Hoya Coverage of the GU 272 includes: