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Abstract

There is a story that a slave of Saint Vincent’s College in Missouri, Jane Renfro, was to be “sold down the river.” She was supposedly freed by a papal decree that no Catholic institution could sell slaves. There was no such papal decision. Starting in 1840, Saint Vincent’s sold all its slaves locally to comply with provincial John Timon’s policy of phasing out slavery. Renfro was probably sold to or placed with a nearby family named Burns.

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