Edward Queen v. John Ashton. Judgment Record

  8 May Term 1784 [sampling]

Edward Queen
vs
John Ashton.

Petition for Freedom.   Issue Joined.   Jurors return and find for Edward Queen the Petitioner.

Judgment that Edward Queen the Petitioner, is Free, and that he be forthwith discharged from all further services of John Ashton his late master. And that the said John Ashton pay costs.

Signed 23d of May 1794.
Jury Fee paid by PBK.
Bailiff Sworn.

Defendant Witnesses. Benjamin Welch. Richard Beard. John Beall.

  • 1. John Trueman.
  • 2. John C McCubbin.
  • 3. Walter Billingsley.
  • 4. Archibald Robinson.
  • 5. Robert Gover.
  • 6. James Cresap.
  • 7. James Matthews.
  • 8. Benjamin West.
  • 9. Richard Beall Junr.
  • 10. Spencer Cooper.
  • 11. Tilghman Hilleary.
  • 12. Richard Merrikin.
[sampling]   19 May Term 1794

Edward Queen
vs
Revd. John Ashton

Be it remembered that on the Fifteenth day of October in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and ninety one, Edward Queen by Gabriel Duvall his attorney, exhibited to the Judges of the General Court here in Court sitting his Petition for Freedom against the Reverend John Ashton in form following towit: "To the Honorable the Judges of the General Court. The Petition of Edward Queen humbly sheweth that he is held in slavery by the Revd. John Ashton altho' he is informed he is entitled to his Freedom being descended from a Free woman. vizt. being the son of Phillis who was the Daughter of Mary Queen, commonly called Queen Mary, a Free woman. He therefore prays your honors to direct summons to issue against the said John Aston returnable immediately to answer the premises; and that your honors, the facts being proved, will adjudge your Petitioner to be Free. And he will pray so forth.       G. Duvall & P.B.Key for Pet."

Whereupon it is ordered by the Court here, that the said Reverend John Ashton do not remove the said Edward Queen out of this State, nor obstruct him from attending this Court from time to time in support of his Petition for Freedom preferred against him the said John Ashton, and in the mean time to feed, cloath and use the said Petitioner well. And at the prayer of the said Edward Queen by Gabriel Duvall and Philip Barton Key his attornies aforesaid. It is ordered by the Court here, that Summons issue to the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County against the said John Ashton to answer the Petition aforesaid, which accordingly issued in form following to wit:

"The State of Maryland Sct. To the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County, Greeting. We command you that you summons the Revd. John Ashton that all delays and excuses set aside he be and appear before the Judges of our General Court at Annapolis immediately to answer unto the Petition of Edward Queen preferred against him for Freedom; Hereof he is not to fail, and fail not at your peril, and have you then and there this writ. Witness the honorable Samuel Chase Esquire Chief Judge of our said Court the 11t day of October Anno domini 1791
Issued the 17t day of October 1791.
(GD. PBK.)       John Gwinn Clk."

And the Sheriff of Anne Arundil County, to whom the aforegoing precept was made and directed, afterwards, makes return thereof to the Court here thus endorsed to wit.   "Sd. J. Williams Shff."   And the said John Ashton by William Cooke his attorney comes, and defends the complaint aforesaid when and where the said court shall take the same into consideration and prays leave of the Court here to imparle until the Second tuesday of May next; to him it is granted, and the same day is given to the said Edward Queen also.

At which said second tuesday of May, being the eighth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, comes again into the General Court here as well the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid, as the said John Ashton by his attorney: and the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid as before defends the complaint aforesaid when and where the Court shall take the same into consideration, and prays leave of the Court here further to imparle until the second tuesday of October next: to him it is granted, and the same day is given to the said Edward Queen also.

  20 May Term 1794

At which said second tuesday of October being the ninth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two comes again into the General Court here, as well the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid, as the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid: And the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid files in Court here the Depositions of Richard Disney and Thomas Warfield in form following towit. "Richard Disney of Anne Arundel County aged seventy five years being duly sworn on the Holy Evangilists of Almighty God, to say the truth of his knowledge in this cause saith, that he knows Phillis and Nancy Cooper, who belong to the Defendant, and has known them ever since he was a child; and Phillis is a mulatto, and Nancy Cooper as black as most negroes; be he does not remember the mother of Phillis and Nancy; and this Deponent knew James Carroll who formerly lived at Fingal, very well, and this Deponent's mother who is now dead, was a midwife, and has often told him that the aforesaid Nancy was the first child she ever took, and was very well acquainted in the said James Carroll's family; and she attended the family many years as a midwife, and he has often heard her say, that it was a shame that the mother of Phillis and Nancy was kept in slavery, and if Mr Carroll would be false in one thing, he would be false in another; and this Deponent remembers to have heard a great deal of talk about her and has heard divers persons say that Captain Larkin brought her into this Country, and that she had a great many fine cloaths, and that old William Chapman took her on shore once, and it was noised about that there was a fine Lady from London, and no body would buy her for some time, until at last James Carroll bought her; and this Deponent has heard Captain Iiams, who is now deceased, brother of Plummer Iiams say that Phillis ought to be Free; and this Deponent further saith that he cut and spayed young stock at Fingal, three or four years, when Lewis Lee who is since dead, was Overseer there, and he has heard Lewis Lee say that Phillis ought to be Free, and Phillis then lived in a House by herself: Being asked if Lewis Lee was an older man than the Deponent, answers, yes, many years and that he was a man when the Deponent was a Boy. and the Deponent says that he never took much notice of what was said about her never expecting to be a witness: Being asked whether the mother of Phillis and Nancy was reputed to be a mulatto woman or a Negro, answers he does not know. The foregoing Deposition taken before me, one of the Justices of the peace for the county aforesaid on the fourteenth day of May seventeen hundred ninety two.
J Belt.

The Deposition of Thomas Warfield aged forty two years or thereabouts, being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, saith, that about the year seventeen hundred and eighty two, or seventeen hundred & eighty three, this Deponent was overseer at Bright Seat in Anne Arundel County for the late Reverend John Carroll and carried down six Hogsheads of Tobacco for the said John Carroll to Taylor's Landing Warehouse where Capt. John Iiams, now deceased, was Inspector and the said Inspector was going to mark the Tobacco with the name of the Deponent when the Deponent told him not, but to mark it with the name of John Carroll priest, upon which the said Capt. John Iiams asked him what he had to do with priest Carroll,   21 May Term 1794 to which the Deponent answered he was Overseer for him, the said John Iiams then asked the Deponent if he knew old Phillis who lived at the quarter, to which he answered that he did know her very well: the Deponent then asked the said John Iiams if he knew her, and he answered he knew her very well, and said she was as Free as he was if she had her right: the Deponent then asked him how she came to be Free, and he answered that her mother was Free and was brought into this Country by Captain Larkin and was sold for seven years, and the Deponent thinks the said Iiams told him that she was sold to one of the Chapmans; and he further says that the said Captain Iiams told him that her name was Mary Queen to the best of his recollection; and that she afterwards belonged to James Carroll who lived at Fingal in Anne Arundel County, and who as the Deponent has understood left the place before mentioned together with the White Marsh Plantation and his personal estate to the church; being asked how far Captain John Iiams lived from the quarter where Phillis then lived, answers about a mile, and he always lived their ever since the memory of this Deponent; and he has always understood that Phillis before mentioned is the mother of Ned the Petitioner. Being asked what is the complexion of Phillis, answers she is yellow, and appears to be a Bright Mulatto: and further saith not.     Sworn to before the subscriber this 11t of Octr 1792.
James Mackubin."

And the said, John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid, as before, defends the complaint aforesaid when and where the court shall take the same into consideration, and prays leave of the court here further to imparle until the second tuesday of May next; to him it is granted and the same day is given to the said Edward Queen also.

At which said second tuesday of May being the fourteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three, comes again into the General Court here, as well the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid, as the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid; and the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid files in court here the Deposition of George Davis, in form following towit: "George Davis of Anne Arundel County aged fifty four years and upwards, being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God to testify the truth of his knowledge in this cause, deposeth and saith, that he has known Ned the Petitioner for many years, and he has known Phillis who now lives with Mr. Ashton for about twenty years; and he further saith that between twenty one and twenty two years ago, the Deponent happened at John Atwell's when then lived on the land now owned by Thomas Duckett near Mr Ashton's, and Ned the Petitioner passed by, and Lewis Lee who lived in Anne Arundel County was present and when Ned the Petitioner was passing the Deponent observed how many mulattoes there were at the Priests; to which the said Lewis Lee answered yes, and said that, that lad, pointing to Ned, ought to be Free, for his Grand Mother was a free woman; Being asked if he knew the Grand Mother of Ned, answers he did not know any thing about her. He further saith that Ms. Atwell wife of the aforesaid John Atwell asked the said Lewis Lee several questions about her (meaning the Grand Mother of Ned) and Lewis Lee made answers, the substance of which he does not recollect, except that he said that Capt. Larkin brought her in. Being asked if he remembers   22 May Term 1794 that the said Lee mentioned where she was brought from, answers he does not. Being asked if Lewis Lee mentioned the name of Ned's Grandmother, says he did not, nor where she lived, nor how he got his information. Sworn before me this 27 May 1793.
Allen Quynn."

And the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid as before defends the complaint aforesaid when and there the court shall take the same into consideration, and prays leave of the court here further to imparle until the second tuesday of October next; to him it is granted, and the same day is given to the said Edward Queen.

At which said second tuesday of October, being the Eighth day of the same month in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety three, comes again into the General Court here, as well the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid, as the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid: And the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid files in court here the Deposition of Caleb Clarke in form following towit: "Caleb Clarke of Prince George's County aged forty seven years being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that he knows Ned the Petitioner, and the Defendant, and has known them both for many years: that he knows Phillis a mulatto woman who lives with the said John Ashton, but does not know that she is the mother of Ned; Being asked if he knew the Grand Mother of Ned? Answers he never did: That he has often heard his mother, Mary Clarke, who has been dead about eight years, and was about sixty nine years old when she died, say that a yellow woman called Mary Queen was brought into this country by Captain Larkin as she had been frequently told by her Father Marsh Mareen Duvall: that the said Larkin frequented her said Fathers Houses, and was known by his said Mother; that James Carroll also frequented it; and the said Carroll and his the Deponent's Grandfather lived within sight of each other; and he has heard his Mother say often in conversation that the said Mary Queen was owned by the said James Carroll, and that her Father had often heard the said James Carroll and Mary Queen quarrelling and wranging about her Freedom, as he had told her that the said James Carroll would say to her, poh! have patience, you will be Free by and by, or you will get your Freedom, by and by, or words to that effect, and would promise what he would do for her; that he has often heard the same from his Aunt Fowler who was his Mother's sister, and from his Aunt Carrick another sister, and also from John Carrick, husband of his aunt Carrick; that his said aunts were many years older than his mother; Being asked how much older they were than his Mother, answers he does not know exactly, but that he knew his aunt Fowler well, and she must have been at least twenty years older than his Mother, and his aunt Carrick about ten or twelve years older than his Mother; and that his said aunts and the said John Carrick are all dead: and further he saith that he has understood from some of the persons aforesaid that the said Mary Queen was left or given by the said James Carroll to Anthony Carroll and sent across the Bay to him: and further he saith not.
Allen Quynn."

Thereupon further process of and upon the premises aforesaid, between the parties aforesaid, by consent of the said parties by their attornies aforesaid and by order of the Court here thereon is continued until the second tuesday

  23 May Term 1794

of May next following.

And now at this day towit, the said second tuesday of May being the thirteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety four, comes again into the General Court here as well the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid, as the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid: And the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid files in Court here the Deposition of Deborah Lusby and an Extract from the Will of James Carroll, in form following towit: "The Deposition of Deborah Lusby of Anne Arundel County about fifty years of age being first duly sworn deposeth and saith that she is the Daughter of Edward Lee and all knew his Brother Lewis Lee and Robt Welch who were very old men when they respectively died, who all lived in the neighbourhood of James Carroll's Plantation called Fingall where old Philis the reputed slave of James Carroll also lived, that this Deponent well knows old Philis and knew her about thirty years past but never heard the said Philis or any of her descendants were entitled to be free; or that they claim'd Freedom until very lately: This Deponent further saith the said Edward and Lewis Lee were well acquainted in Mr. Carroll's family and verily believes if they or any one of them had ever thought the said Philis or her children were entitled to Freedom or had ever thought so, she should have heard them mention it; she also deposeth and saith that she often heard her Father Edward Lee say that he never so much repented any thing in his life as that he did not buy the said Phillis at a time when he might have got her for five pounds, but at that time it was generally known that the said Philis was very ill with the venerial complaint and married to one of his negroes. The Deponent further saith that she has often heard her Father & Uncle Lewis Lee taking about Phillis, but does not recollect what they said; the she does not recollect ever to have heard either of them say who Phillis's Mother was; that she has known Ned the Petitioner a great many years & always understood he was the son of Phillis; but she never heard any person say who was the Mother of Phillis. That at the time when Phillis was sick as before related the Deponent cannot say how old she was, but thinks she had children afterwards, but is not sure; that Phillis has one sister named Nanny Cooper, which the Deponent knew many years ago; that said Phillis has many children known to this Deponent, towit. Sukey, Mary, Gervais, Protuous and Winifred; but she does not recollect any more.
Deborah Lusby
her + mark
Sworn before me the 21st day of May 1794. the Deponent Deborah Lusby having first signed the same.
John Randall."

I Bequeath to my cousin Anthony Carroll now with me two negroes vizt. Henry and Mary to be delivered if alive to him the tenth of October after my decease the better to enable him to seat his Five hundred acres of land which is to be laid out in a convenient form where he shall think fit to seat if he settles first. In Testimony that the above is a true extract from the will of James Carroll bearing date the twelfth day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight, and proved June the 27th 1727. Recorded in Liber CC. No. 2. one of the late prerogative Records I have hereto set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 19 day of May in the year of our Lord 1794.
Jno Gassanay Reg. Wills AA Cy."

And the said John Ashton by his attorney aforesaid (admitting that the   24 May Term 1794 said Edward Queen is descended from Mary Queen mentioned in the said Petition) comes and says that the said Mary Queen the Grand Mother of the Petitioner from whom by Descent the Petitioner claims his Freedom always was a slave: and this the said John Ashton is ready to verify without that, that the said Mary Queen was Free as alleged by the said Petition. And the said Edward Queen by his attornies aforesaid saith that the said Mary Queen was not a slave at the time of the Birth of the Issue of Mary Queen from whom the said Edward is descented as the said John above in pleading hath alleged: and this the said Edward Queen prays may be enquired of by the Country and so forth: and the said John doth the like: Thereafter let a Jury thereupon appear before the General Court here immediately, but whom and so forth, and who neither and so forth, to recognize and so forth, because as well and so forth who being called come that is to say: John Trueman, John Cray McCubbin, Walter Billingsley, Archibald Robinson, Robert Gover, James Cresap, James Matthews, Benjamin West, Richard Beall Junr, Spencer Cooper, Tilghman Hillary & Richard Merrikin, who being elected, tried and sworn to say the truth in the premises upon their oath do say, that the said Mary Queen the Grand Mother of the Petitioner was not a slave, and that he the said Edward Queen the Petitioner is descended from the said Mary Queen in manner and form as he the said Edward Queen in his said Petitioner to the Court here preferred against the said John Ashton, hath alleged; Therefore it is considered by the court here, that the said Edward Queen the Petitioner aforesaid be hence Freed and discharged of and from the service of the said Reverend John Ashton, and that he the said Edward Queen the Petitioner aforesaid go thereof without day and so forth: It is also considered by the Court here, that the said Edward Queen the Petitioner recover against the said Reverend John Ashton the quantity of one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven pounds tobacco by the court here unto him the said Edward Queen the Petitioner aforesaid on his assent adjudged for his costs and charges by him about his prosecution of the Petition aforesaid in this behalf laid out and expended: and that he have thereof his Execution aforesaid the said John Ashton and soforth.

Memorandum. On the twenty third day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundrend and ninety four, Judgment was rendered in this cause as above.
Test John Gwinn Cl.

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