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Catherine Bean Douglas


Catherine Bean Douglas was born a slave in 1852 in Nazareth, Kentucky.  The Catholic Church owned Catherine and her family.  They were literally “born in the Church.”  The Nazareth slaves remained the property of the Catholic Church two years after slavery was abolished because Kentucky was one of the slave holding Union states.


Until their emancipation in January, 1865, the only life they knew was a life of servitude: they were 22 in number; they were the property of the Roman Catholic Church; they were known as the “Nazareth Slaves” from Nazareth, Kentucky.


Having lived most of her life in the same area around the Nazareth Academy, Catherine Bean Douglas and most of the Nazareth slaves maintained very close ties to the Church of their birth into slavery, many worked there until their retirement.  One of the houses in the Bean/Douglas slave family is still their today on Plum Run Road, which is very near Nazareth.


Catherine did not leave Kentucky permanently until after the death of all of her slave family.  Catherine died in Chicago on May 31, 1926.


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024