The second sentence of William G. Thomas III’s Aug. 21 Local Opinions commentary, “When enslaved people sued Georgetown’s founders for freedom,” was misleading: “As an aspiring lawyer, at 30, [Francis Scott] Key was known as an evangelical Episcopalian who considered slavery inhumane and the slave trade an outright evil.” But Key owned slaves. He used his legal skills to attack the anti-abolitionist movement. Key also represented slave owners who were trying to recapture their escaped slaves. Key did provide legal services to some slaves fighting for their freedom.
The commentary was informative, but the aforementioned must be mentioned or the reader may walk away believing Key’s faith prevented him from being a part of and benefiting from the enslavement of blacks. Neither Key’s faith nor the Jesuits’ faith prevented the enslavement of human beings (a.k.a. “their property”).
Michaele Nesbitt-Johnson, Upper Marlboro