There is a story that a person enslaved by 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 enslaved persons. There was no such papal decision. Starting in 1840, Saint Vincent’s sold all its enslaved persons locally to comply with provincial John Timon’s policy of phasing out enslavement. Renfro was probably sold to or placed with a nearby family named Burns.
Poole, Stafford C.M.
"The Legend of Jane Renfro,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 8:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol8/iss1/3