Richard Booth v. David Weems. Transcript from General Court of the Western Shore

 

The State of Maryland to wit

At a General Court for the Western Shore of the said State begun and held at the City of Annapolis on the second Tuesday of October being the ninth day of the same Month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety two.

Present
The Honorable Samuel Chase Esquire Chief Judge
Robert Goldsborough & Jeremiah Townley Chase Esquires Judges
William Goldsmith Esquire Sheriff John Gwinn Clerk

In the Record of Proceedings of the same Court among others is the following to wit

Sprigg HR Richard Booth
against
GD David Weems

Be it Remembered that heretofore to wit, on the second tuesday of May being the twelfth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and eighty nine Richard Booth by Jeremiah Townley Chase his Attorney filed in our General Court the following Petition for Freedom to wit

To the Honourable the General Court of Maryland

The humble Petition of Richard Booth of Ann Arundel County Sheweth

That your Petitioner is descended from a free Woman and is unjustly deprived of his Liberty by David Weems of said County who holds and claims your Petitioner as a Slave.

Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays that your Honours will take his case into consideration and direct a Subpoena to Issue for the said David Weems to answer your Petitioner's Complaint returnable to this Court, and that the following persons may be summoned as Witnesses for your Petitioner, to wit, Edward Brown in Montgomery County Joseph Mumford Calvert County, Sarah Chew and Mary Joys of Ann Arundel County, and Henry Wilson Senior of Baltimore County

J. Toy Chase for Petr

 

Which being read to the Court. And at the prayer of the said Richard Booth by Jeremiah Townley Chase his Attorney Summons is thereupon granted him for the said David Weems to answer the petition aforesaid returnable here at the next Court And it is Ordered by the Court here that the said David Weems of Ann Arundel County do not remove out of his State Negro Richard Booth the petitioner aforesaid nor obstruct him from attending this court from time to time in Support of his petition for freedom, and in the meantime to feed cloath and use the said Petitioner well

And the aforesaid Richard Booth by Jeremiah Townley Chase his Attorney aforesaid afterwards on the twenty ninth day of July Anno Domini seventeen hundred and eighty nine sued out of our General Court the State of Maryland's Summons directed to the Sheriff of Ann Arundel County in the words and figures following to wit

The State of Maryland Sst To the Sheriff of Ann Arundel County greeting We command you that you Summon David Weems late of Ann Arundel County, that all excuses and delays set aside he be and appear before the Judges of our General Court to be held at the City of Annapolis on the second Tuesday of October next to answer the petition of Richard Booth prefered 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 Honourable Robert Hanson Harrison Esquire Chief Judge of our said Court the 26th day of June Anno Domini 1789

issued the 29th July 1789, JTC. John Gwinn Clk

At which said second Tuesday of October being the thirteenth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and eighty nine and the day of the return of the aforegoing writ comes again here into our General Court the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior his Attorney And the Sheriff of Ann Arundel County to whom the said aforegoing Writ was made and directed likewise comes and makes return thereof to the Court here thus endorsed, to wit

Summ'd Ben. Howard Shff

And the said David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney comes and defends the Complaint aforesaid when and where the said Court shall take the same into consideration But because the Court here are not advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises Day therefore is given to the parties   aforesaid until the second Tuesday of May next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises because the Court here thereof not yet &ca

At which said second Tuesday of May being the eleventh day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior his Attorney aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid And the aforesaid David Weems by his Attorney aforesaid as before defends the complaint aforesaid when and where &c But because the Court here are not advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises Day therefore is further given to the parties aforesaid until the second tuesday of October next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises, because the Court here thereof are not yet &ca

At which said second Tuesday of October being the twelfth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior his Attorney aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid Whereupon by and with the consent of the Parties aforesaid and their Attornies aforesaid, the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid files in Court here the following Deposition, which is by the said parties and their attornies agreed to be read in Evidence on the hearing of the petition aforesaid and which Deposition is in these words and figures to wit

The Deposition of John Batson of Anne Arundel County aged 86 years, taken Sept 26th 1789 before Samuel Harrison Junr one of the Justices for the County aforesaid

This Deponent being duly Sworn deposeth as follows, that he knew a Negro Woman call'd Kate about fifty years ago; that she the said Kate told him that she was left free by her Master Rd Harrison, that her late Mrs Wife to said Rd Harrison on her death bed had requester her Master to set her free, that he the said Richard Harrison told his Wife he could not do it at that time, but that he wou'd leave her the aforesaid Kate free at his death, and this Deponent further says that he knew three Children the aforesaid Kate had before the death of her aforesaid Master Rd Harrison, and that they were call'd Jaffey Jeffery and Juda, that these three, were kept as slaves, and that he never   heard they ever claimed their freedom, he this Deponent also says that he knew Will Boothe Son to the aforesaid Kate, and that the said Kate told him this deponent that the aforesaid Will Boothe was left free by her Master Richard Harrison at the age of thirty one. And this Deponent further says that he knows of no children the aforesaid Kate had after she was free but George and Ned Brown

John Batson
his I mark

And the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his attorney aforesaid as before defends the Complaint aforesaid when and where the said Court &c But because the Court here are not yet advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises day there fore is further given to the parties aforesaid until the second Tuesday of May next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises, because the court here thereof are not yet &ca

At which said second Tuesday of May being the tenth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred an ninety one comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior and Samuel Chase his Attornies as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid Whereupon it is agreed upon by and between the parties aforesaid with the consent of their said Attornies that the Deposition of Eleanor King be taken in this cause before any magistrate of Calvert County on three days notice being given of the taking thereof to the adverse party taking the same, and that the Deposition so taken be read in Evidence on the hearing of the petition aforesaid. And afterwards to wit in this same Term that is to say the third day of June in the year last aforesaid, as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by his Attornies aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by his attorney aforesaid file in Court here the following Depositions to wit

The Deposition of Eleanor King of Calvert County aged about sixty two years this Deponent being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God saith. That Catharine Booth who the petitioner says, was his great Grand Mother lived with her Father Henry Murray in Ann Arundel County many years; And that the said Catherine was then a free woman. She had no Children born while she lived with this Deponent's Father but says they were all born before; This deponent also was acquainted with William Booth the Eldest Child of Catherine Booth an he was a free man. That Catharine   Booth was a Mulatto Woman and had long black straight Hair. That she this Deponent heard her Father Henry Murray frequently mention that the Mother of Catharine Booth was an English Woman and particularly once when the said Catharine Booth being in Liquor cursed this Deponents Father and said she did not value him for that she was as white as he and her Mother was a Gentlewoman And this Deponent's Father made answer that he knew she was a White Woman but did not know if she was a Gentlewoman or not. That this Deponent knew a Daughter of Cath Booth called Judah who was an Infant when Cath Booth came to live with this Deponents Father and that Cath Booth said she gave Judah to Mrs Lawrence to bring up as she Cath Booth was a Midwife employed very generally in the neighbourhood and could not conveniently keep Judah. That She this Deponent was not acquainted with and did not know Jaffy the eldest Daughter of Cath Booth. The Deponent being asked whether she or Judah before mentioned was oldest. Says that She the Deponent was older than Judah: and that Judah was very young and Sucked when Cate Booth came to live with the Deponent's Father; the Deponent further Saith that soon after old Cate Booth came to live with this deponent's Father an she thinks within a Year, worked her Son George worked there and was a lad; that old Cate lived with the Deponent's Father about Six or Seven Years; the Deponent further Saith that she knew Ned Brown, one of the Sons of Old Cate many Years, and that George and Ned were free ever since she knew them; She further Saith that many Years ago she saw Will Booth before mentioned, the oldest Son of Old Cate, and in conversation with him he told the Deponent that he had been at Old George Larance's to get his Sister Judah away from him, but she was such a fool she would not leave him and said she had a Husband and Children there, an her Master and Mistress were very good to her, and she did not want to leave them. And further this Deponent saith not, Sworn before me this 3d day of June 1791.

Allen Quynn.

Joseph Mumford aged about 66 or 67 years being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and Saith that he was acquainted with Cath. Booth who was the Mother of Jaffy who was the Mother of   Esther who was the Mother of Richard Booth the Petitioner and the said Cath. Booth was free all the Time he was acquainted with her, and That she was a bright Mulatto with long black straight Hair. The Deponent also saith that he has been informed by certain Lucy Varnell and Faith Hall that the Mother of the said Catharine Booth was a white woman. And that he the Deponent knew William Booth who was the Eldest Son of Cath Booth and that he was free from 31 years of age. That he the Deponent also knew all the Children of Cath. Booth, and that they were born in the following order William, Jaffy, Jeoffry, Judah, George and Edward. That Jaffy was black and Judah yellow. This Deponent being asked if he has heard that Cath Booth was a Slave to old Mrs Harrison, answers that he has not heard that she was a Slave, but he has understood that she was a Servant and set free by Mr Harrison by his Will and he saith that he has heard old Cate say that old Mr Harrison set her free. This Deponent being asked if he knew Judah, saith that he did know her and that she was older than him this Deponent, and that he has heard Cath Booth say She gave Judah to Old George Laurence to bring up till she was of age. This Deponent being asked if he knew the Age of William Booth saith he knows not when he was born but that he this Deponent was between ten and fifteen years old when William Booth got free as well as he can recollect and that the said William Booth was a very yellow man with long straight Hair, and further this Deponent saith not

Sworn before me this 3 June 1791 Allen Quynn.

Edward Booth alias Edward Brown the Son of Cath Booth aged about 72 years being Sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and Saith Cath Booth had Six children William, Jaffy, Jeoffry, Judah, George and Edward this Deponent This Deponent being asked if Cath. Booth ever told him that Judah was born after Mr Harrison's death, says she has told him so, and that as soon as her mouth was up, her mistress widow of Mr Harrison told her to take her child and go away, for you will be so old, serving for your children that you won't be able to get a living, being asked if he ever heard Cate Booth say Mr Harrison set her free, Saith he never did hear her say so: being also asked if he ever heard that Cath. Booth served Mr Harrison as a slave, he answers that he never did hear so but on the contrary that he this Deponent often heard that she served Mr Harrison on account of her children. And further this Deponent   Saith not. Sworn before me this 3d June 1791.

Allen Quynn

And the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid as before defends the complaint aforesaid when and where the said Court &c But because the Court here are not yet advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises Day therefore is further given to the parties aforesaid until the second Tuesday of October next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises, because the Court here thereof are not yet &ca

At which said second Tuesday of October being the eleventh day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety one comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior and Henry Ridgely his Attornies as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid. And the aforesaid Richard Booth by his Attornies aforesaid with the consent of the aforesaid David Weems and his Attorney aforesaid files in Court here the following Depositions, to wit.

Alice Taylor aged 76 years or thereabouts being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and Saith that she knew Catherine Booth and that she was then free and when She this Deponent first knew her She was herself a small Girl and Catherine Booth had then a young child named George in her arms and was then free. Catharine Booth was a yellow woman and had long straight black Hair tied upon the top of her head and not curly like the Hair of a black person This Deponent further saith that she knew William Booth whom she knew to be the eldest child of Cath Booth when she herself was about 16 or 17 years of age, and he was then free. This Deponent being asked if she ever understood that Cath Booth was set free by Mr Harrison answers that she had not so understood. Being further asked if she ever heard in what manner William Booth got free. Answers She had only heard him say that thank God he had served thirty one years and was then out of his Servitude. This Deponent further saith that she thinks to the best of her Remembrance that she heard Joseph Lane who is since deceased say that Cath Booth was free born; And further Saith that the said Joseph Lane was one of the Grandsons of Richard Harrison commonly called King Harrison and that she knew the whole of said Harrison's Family. That she this Deponent was born and raised up   in the Neighbourhood of said Harrisons and Lanes and her Father John Wells was once a Tenant under some of them. Being asked if she had heard anything of Kate Booths Mother She answers that she thinks she has heard old people say but who she does not now remember, That her Mother was a White woman, and that it was the Talk of the Neighbourhood but she was so young and it is so long ago she does not remember who particularly talked of it. Being asked where Cath Booth lived when she this Deponent knew her, answers she lived by herself on Land of Elisha Hall. Being asked when she last saw Cath Booth answers it was about 20 years ago. Being asked if she ever heard her Father John Wells say any thing of Cath Booth's being free, Answers that she has heard her Father tell her (C Booth) that she was a fool to serve so long for her children. Being asked if she ever heard any talk of Cath Booth's not being born of a White Woman, answers she never did hear any such. Being asked if she knew Jaffy the Daughter of Cath Booth, says she did Jaffy belonged to Betty Lane who intermarried with David Weems, and Jaffy after the Death of Betty Lane lived in a House by herself 5 or 6 miles from where Betty Lane lived, which was the place where old Kit Varnell lived And further this Deponent saith not, Sworn before me this 14th day of October 1791.

Allen Quynn

And the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid as before defends the Complaint aforesaid when and where the said Court &c But because the Court here are not yet advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises day therefore is further given to the parties aforesaid until the second Tuesday of May next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises Because the Court here thereof are not yet &ca

At which said second Tuesday of May being the eighth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety two comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior and Henry Ridgely his Attornies aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid And for further Evidence on the hearing of the petition and premises aforesaid as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by his Attornies aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by his Attorney aforesaid file in Court here the following Depositions, Inventory and Certificate, to wit.

 

The Deposition of John Wood of Ann Arundel County aged about 62 years; being Sworn on the Holy evangels of Almighty God he saith That he never heard untill lately that Cath Booth was born free or that her Mother was a free Woman, but a certain Harrison Lane told him about 38 years ago that Cath Booth was set free by her Master Richard Harrison's (commonly called King Harrison's) Will, Being asked if he knew Geoffry the Son of Kate B. Answers he did know him and he lived with Harrison Lane when he this Deponent died, about 38 years ago; and believes he was then about 40 years old from his looks, being asked if said Geoffry ever claimed his Freedom, Answers Harrison Lane told his Deponent Geoffry would sometimes talk of it when in Liquor and say he ought to be free as well as his Brother William: Being asked what couloured Hair Kate Booth had answers when he knew her, her Head was Grey and her hair short and curly like a Negroe's Being asked the coulor of her Skin answers she appeared like a dark Mulatto certainly; being asked if he ever heard any conversation about the Mother of Kate B answers he never did hear any, being asked if he knew Jaffy answers he did not, nor did her know Jude Being asked if he ever heard Kate Booth say how she became free, answers he did not at any time hear her mention the subject Being asked if Harrison Lane was a Grandson of Richard or King Harrison answers he was and this Deponent understood he claimed Geoffry under his Grandfather's Will being asked where Kate lived when he knew her Answers near fishing creek. Being asked if he is any way interested in the Event of this petition by holding relations to the petitioner or otherwise answers he is not. Being asked if he ever knew Kate in servitude answers he never did.

John Wood
his I mark

Sworn before the Subscriber one of the Justices of Anne Arundel County this third third day of May 1792.
Saml Harrison

On the part of the Petitioner

The Deposition of Mary McKinsey of Anne Arundel County, aged about fifty five years being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and Saith, that she is no ways interested in the Event of this petition   either by holding any of the Relations of the petitioner on the other wise or by being related to the Defendant being asked if she ever knew of any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for freedom or any measure taken to prevent such application. answered She never did, and that she never heard of their having any claim to freedom till since this petition being asked if their ever was any conversation concerning Kate or her Children being free when she was present, Answered in the negative. being asked if she ever hear any conversation respecting the Mother of Kate and between whome and what it was, answered in the Negative, being asked how old Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison was when he died. Answered she doth not. And further saith not

Mary McKinsey
her W mark

Taken this 20th day of May 1792
Before Richd Harwood Jur

The Deposition Elushington Gardner aged about eighty seven who being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God saith, that she knew old Kate Booth after she was free, and that she had two children after she was free, the one called Ned and the other called George, that the said Cate Booth had four children before she got free, and that she has heard this generally in the neighbourhood but that she did not know all the Children of Kate, nor did she know Jaffy. Kate was a big short strong woman and was a pretty bright Mulatto and pretty long hair and she used to wear in tyed on the Top of her head and fillet it up like other women. She further saith that she has heard old Kate say that her Master old Richard Harrison told her before his Death. that if She (Kate) would serve his family seven years after his Death that he would put her on the Records, and that they should not make her serve any longer, and that this was the general Talk of the neighbourhood. and she has also heard old Kate say that Richard Harrison also told her that he would also put her Low on the Records and it was the general talk of the neighbourhood. The Deponent further saith that she has heard her Father John Wells who has been dead a long time, many times and often tell Kate Booth what a fool she was for suffering herself to be got with Child in such a manner and making herself a Slave for it. that she might have been free long ago if it had not been for that. to which Cate Booth answered Yes, but she could not help it. She further saith that she has heard the   Neighbours and people about say that Esther was entitled to freedom, And she further saith that her Father John Wells always lived in the Neighbourhood where Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison lived. Being asked if she ever heard who Kates Mother was, answers she never did.

Sworn to this ninth day of May 1792.
Allen Quynn.

The Deposition of Mary McKinsey of Anne Arundel County aged about fifty five years, being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God Deposeth and Saith. That she knows the Defendant that she lived within two or three miles of him almost all her life time, and that she has seen the Plaintiff. being asked if she knew Ester the Mother of the Petitioner answered in the negative, being asked if she knew Jaffy the Mother of Ester. Answered She had seen her. being asked if she knew Kate Booth the Mother of Jaffy, answered She did. that she was of a very Dark Complexion and had Wooly hair, which never Grew very long, that when She this Deponant was a Girl had often looked her head, and believes She has been dead about thirty years, being asked if Kate Booth was a Slave or free Born. Answered she was free at the time she knew her, but never understood she was born free. nor ever heard her say She was, but that She was set free by her Master as she has always understood by the neighbours and from her, herself who has often informed this Deponent. that her Master set her free from her being & Good Servant. and says she knew several of her Children vizt William Booth. Jefferey, Ned and George that Ned and George were born after she was free that William Booth was set free with her, and that Jeffery lived and died a Slave, that she doth not know their ages. being asked how long Jaffy and Juda two of the Children of Kate Booth had been Dead answered she doth not remember, being asked if she knew whether Jaffy and Juda were born before the Death of Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison answered she allways understood they were, and by Kate the Mother of the said Jaffy and Juda. this Deponant further saith that she had often asked the said Kate how some of her children became free and others Slaves; she informed this Deponent that some of her children were born while She was a Slave to her Master King Harrison and further Saith not

Mary McKinsey
her W mark

Taken this 20th day of May 1792 before Richd Harwood junr

 

What I Know of the family of of the Boothes who have braught actions for their freedoms to wit. I knew Cate the Mother of Judith, and I knew Judith who lived with George Larrance, and I believe she was a bought two years older than I, wich was the Mother of Tom his Brethren and Sisters and She was a person look'd on to have a lawfull Right to fredom, and I have heard Cate exclame greatly against Larrance for Incoraging her Daughter Judeths keeping company with his negro man named venture She said it was to mak or keep her a Servant Cate was free when I knew her and she had two Sons George and Ned George a bought my age and they were free from their childhood. as for Jaffey and her ofspring I knew nothing of till lately Given under my hand this 27th D. of 5th 1790

Henry Wilson

Ann Arundel County sc On the 27th day of May 1790 came Henry Wilson of Baltimore County before the subscriber one of the Justices of the County aforesaid and being one of the people called Quakers did solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm to be true the several matters contained in the within deposition

Affirm'd to before Robt Couden

The Deposition of John Welch of Robert 62 years old, being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, Saith that he has known Alice Taylor a Witness Sworn in this cause more than 40 years. believes she has lived all or nearly all that Time in the neighbourhood of this Deponent and has always supported a very good fair and honest character insomuch that this Deponent never heard any the smallest charge against her. This Deponent also knew and was well acquainted with the Father of Alice Taylor (John Wells) who also maintained the Character of a Worthy honest man and was well received and esteemed in the neighbourhood. This Deponent also knew all the Family of the said Alice Taylor and among others Elushington Gardner her Sister a Witness Sworn in this cause; and the whole Family and the said Gardner among others supported a very fair unblemished Character: and the said Elushington Gardner has lived within a few miles of the Deponent during nearly forty years last past. And further this Deponent saith not

Sworn this 26th day of May 1792 before me the Subscriber Justice of the Peace for Ann Arundel County James Mackubin

Admitted G Duvall Atty for D Weems

 

Interrogatories on the part of the Defendant

1. Do you know the parties in this Suit?

2. Do you know Esther, the mother of the petitioner?

3. Did you know Jaffy the Mother of Esther?

4. Did you know Cate Booth the Mother of Jaffy: if yea, what was her complexion, and what sort of Hair had She, and how long has she been dead?

5. Was Kate Booth a Slave, or a free person, and if free, how did she obtain her freedom?

6. Did you know all and how many of her Children what were their names, and what were their ages?

7. How long has Jaffy and Juda two of the Daughters of Kate Booth been dead?

8. Have you heard and from whom that Jaffey and Juda or either and which of them, were born before the death of Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison?

9. Have you any further knowledge of the Subject, if yea, relate it fully.

On the part of Petitioners

1. Are you interested in the Event of this Petition either by holding Relations of the Petitioner or otherwise? or are you related to the Defendant.

2. Have you ever known any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom or any measure taken to prevent such applications?

3. Was their ever any conversation where you were present concerning Kate or her children's being free? if Yea relate it, and between whom it took place.

4. Did you ever hear any conversation respecting the Mother of Kate, and between whom was it: and what?

5. When did Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison die?

John Carr of Anne Arundel County aged Seventy eight years and upwards being Sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God on the   Interrogatories exhibited in this Cause, Saith and answer to the first Interrogatory, that he knows them.

2d Answers, no.

3d No.

4. Answers he knew old Cate, but not by the name of Booth, She was a Mulatto, and her hair was Woolly, and he does not know how long she has been dead.

5th He never knew any other than that she was a Slave he has heard from his father and Grand father that she was set free by King Harrison, who they said had a Child by her whose name was Will Booth.

6th He did not know any of her children

7th He knows not.

8th He has not.

9th He has not.

Being asked if he ever knew Cate Booth was a Slave. Says he never did know it himself.

To the Interrogatories on the part of the Petitioner he answers

1. He is not.

2. He has not.

3. There never was present at any such conversation

4. He never did.

5. He does not.

John Carr
his I mark

Sworn before me 3d May 1792
Saml Harrison

John King of Calvert County aged Sixty years being duly sworn

To the first Interrogatory Answers, He knows Defendant, but not the Petitioner

2d He does not.

3d He did not.

4. He has seen old Cate and only once, upwards of thirty years ago; She was then a Midwife as he was told; She was like a dark Mulatto.

 

5. He understood she was free when he saw her.

6. He knew Judah and George and Ned, and Will and Geoffrey and he has heard his Grand Mother Sarah King say that Judah sucked, at the time that John Lawrence Father of John Lawrence of Calvert County did, And she has heard his father say that he was born in the year 1702, and that John Lawrence first before mentioned was born in the same year. And he has heard his Grandfather say so also. And he knew Cate the eldest Child of Judah, and Geoffry the second Child, and Geoffrey was about 2 years older than the Deponent.

7. He knows not, Judah went to Prince Georges and died there.

8. He cannot say he has. he has understood that Mr Harrison gave Judah to John Lawrence.

9. He has not.

On the part of the Petitioner

1. He has no Interest or Connexion.

2. He knew some of the children of Kate were free, to wit. William George and Ned, but knows not how they became so. to the other part of this Interrogatory he knows not

3. Knows She was free and also some of her Children, but never heard Kate was born free, or how she became so.

4. Never did hear any.

5. He knows not:

John King

Sworn before me 3d May 1792.
Sam Harrison

James Gibson of Calvert County aged Sixty Six Years being Sworn as a Witness in this Cause.

To the first Interrogatory answers. He does not.

2d He does not.

3. He did not.

4. He did know old Cate when he was young. She was a Yellow Woman, but he does not recollect what sort of hair she had.

5. Cate was free when he knew her he was then a Boy.

 

6th He knew William, Ned, George, and Judah; he has heard from Mr Lawrence of Calvert County to whom Judah belonged that she was born in the year 1702; he thinks he was about 20 years old when he first knew Judah, and he thinks she then was about forty years old; he understood she then had a great many Children, and he knows Jaffry a Son of Judah who he thinks is nearly as old as himself, and he thinks Will was near 40 years old when he first knew him.

7. He knows not.

8. He has not.

To the Interrogatories on Part of the Petitioner. He answers.

1. He is not interested or related.

2. He never has known any such.

3. As to Cate answered in the answer to the 5th on the part of the Defendant. He knew Will Booth and George and Edward Brown Children of Cate to be free knows not nor has he heard how the became free.

4. Never heard any such Conversation.

5. He knows not.

James Gibson Senior

Sworn before me 3d May 1792
Sam Harrison.

William Armager of Ann Arundel County aged Sixty seven years being duly Sworn Saith

To the first Interrogatory. He answers, he knows the parties.

2d he answers No.

3. He answers no.

4. He knew old Cate very well. She was a dark Mulatto, and had short Woolly curly hari, and was old when he knew her but could ride about. He can't say how long she has been dead;

5. He answers Cate was free when he knew her; he does not know how she got her freedom.

6. He knew Will Booth. Judah, George, ned, and Jaffry; he   knows nothing of their ages, but has been told that Will was the oldest.

7. He does not know.

8. He has heard that Judah, was born before the death of King Harrison; and he has heard it from Mary Larrance Wife of George Lawrence, and has heard her say that King Harrison gave Judah to George Lawrence for business he had done for him as Constable.

9. He has not.

On the part of the Petitioner

1. He has no Interest or Connection

2. He has never known any application untill now.

3. Answered in part in the answer to the 5th above has heard Will, and Ned and George were free. As to Jaffy and Judah he has not heard.

4. Never heard any.

5. Knows not

William Armager
his WA mark

Sworn before me 3d May 1792. Sm Harrison

Mary Brown of Ann Arundel County of lawful age, being duly sworn, to the first Interrogatory answers

That she knows the Defendant, but not the Petitioner.

2d She knows not.

3d She did not.

4. Says she knew old Cate when she saw her, when she the Deponent was between Seven and eight years old, She was then on Crutches; She was a dark Mulatto, and her face full of freckles; her hair was Grey

5. She knows not.

6. She knew George and Ned, and Ned was about the age of the Deponent, they were of a Size when they were Children; She says She is half sister of John Wood sworn this day in this cause; and that she is Eldest, and there were three children between them.

7. She knows not.

 

8. She never did hear.

9. She knows nothing more.

On the part of the Petitioner

1. Has no Interest or Connexion.

2. Never till lately.

3. Never heard any thing on the subject.

4. Never heard any thing of her.

5. Knows not

Mary Brown
her O mark

Sworn before me 3d May 1792.
Sam Harrison

Philemon Lloyd Chew of Ann Arundel County aged Twenty seven years being duly Sworn, answers to the first Interrogatory. He does know them.

And the other Interrogatories being waved, the Deponent saith the three or four years, there was a summons for his mother on a petition then depending in Calvert County by one of the family of the Petitioner, and his mother told him that they had better not summon her for that if she went to court they would never get free, and she related the whole circumstances to the deponent, but he does not now recollect them; his mother was a Grand daughter of King Harrison, and is now dead

Philemon Lloyd Chew.

Sworn before me 3d May 1792
Sam Harrison

Thomas Lane of Anne Arundel county aged about fifty nine or Sixty years being duly sworn To the first Interrogatory

Answers he knows them both.

2. He knows Esther.

3. He knew Jaffy.

4. He knew old Cate very well. She was a brown Mulatto, and had woolly curly hair which was tied in Rings, and was Grey when he knew her. but does not know how long she has been dead; he thinks he was 12 or 14 years old when Cate died. She was burried at Mr Samuel Harrisons.

5. Cate was free when the deponent knew her, and he has heard his Father Harrison Lane, and his Uncles Benjamin Lane and   Joseph Lane say she was set free by Mr Harrison for being a faithful servant.

6. He knew Jaffy, Jaffrey, Will, Judah, and Ned and George were born after she was free as he has been told;

7. He knows not.

8. He has heard his Father and others say that Jaffry was born before Mr Harrison died and was just given by him to his Daughter, who was Mrs Lock, and he has heard his Father say that Judah was born before Mr Harrison's death, and was given to Mr Lawrence.

9. He has not

On the part of the Petitioner

1. Has no Slaves and is not interested is a Great Grandson of King Harrison the Son of Harrison Lane who held Geoffrey the son of Kate

2. Has heard said Geoffrey say it was a hardship that his Brothers should be free, and he held as a slave.

3. Never heard that Kate was free before King Harrison's death

4. Never did hear any

Thos Lane

Sworn before me 3d May 1792.
Saml Harrison

Joseph Crandell of Ann Arundel County aged seventy years being duly sworn to the first Interrogatory answers. That he knows Mr Weems and knows Richard the Petitioner.

2. He knows Esther.

3. He did know Jaffy.

4. He knew old Cate Booth, as she was called, she was darker than the petitioner; and does not remember what sort of hair she had; and says he thinks she has been dead near thirty years.

5. He has heard that Mrs Harrison set her free at his death; and he has heard John Wood now deceased, say that Cate was born a slave.

 

6. He knew Will Booth Jaffy & Jeffry, and George and Ned.

7. Says he does not know.

8. He has always understood that Jaffy and Judah were born before King Harrison died

9. He knows nothing more.

On the part of the Petitioner

1. Has no Interest or Connexion.

4. Never heard any thing

Joseph Crandell
his C mark

Sworn before me 3d May 1792
Sam Harrison

William Wood of A. A. County aged about 59 being duly sown. Answers the Interrogatories on the part of the Deffd as follows.

To the 1st He answers, that he knows David Weems

2. He knows nothing of Esther, he never saw her.

3. He did not know Jaffy.

4. He knew Kate Booth, he says she was a brown Mulatto, but does not remember what sort of hair she had, nor when she died.

5. He always understood that Kate booth was a Slave till she was set free by Mr Harrison commonly call'd King Harrison.

6. He knew four of her children, Jeffery, Will Booth George Brown and Ned Brown.

7. He does not know how long Jaffy and Juda have been dead.

8. He does not remember to have heard when Jaffy & Juda were born.

9. He has no further knowledge of the Subject.

On the part of the Petitioners

1. He is not interested in the Event of this petition nor is he related to the Defendant.

2. He never knew or heard of any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom, nor any measure taken to prevent such application.

3. He never heard any conversation about Kate or her children being free till within this few years.

4. He never heard any conversation about Kates Mother

 

5. He never heard how old Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison was when he died

William Wood
his W mark

May 18th 1792

Sworn before Saml Harrison Junr

Nehemiah Birckhead aged about 46. Affirm'd to the Interrogatories on the part of the Defd as follows.

1. He knows David Weems, but not Richard Booth.

2. He does not know Esther the mother of the Petitioner.

3. He did not know Jaffy the mother of Esther.

4. He knew Kate Booth, she was a brown Mulatto, She had short gray hair or Wool and has been dead about 33 years.

5. Kate Booth was free when he knew her, he was told by John Batson that she was set free by King Harrison and that she serv'd Seven Years after the death of Mr Harrison

6. He knew but three of Kate Booths Children, William Booth, George Brown and Ned Brown he does not know their Ages.

7. He does not know how long Jaffy and Juda have been dead.

8. He never heard whether Jaffy or Juda were born before the death of Mr Harrison commonly King Harrison.

9. He has no further knowledge of this subject

On the part of the Petitioners

1. He is not interested in the event of this petition nor is he related to the Defendant.

2. He never heard of any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom till lately, nor any measures taken to prevent such application.

3d He never heard any Conversation about Kate or her Children being free.

4. He never heard any Conversation respecting the mother of Kate.

5. He never heard how old Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison was when he died

Nehemiah Birckhead

Affirm'd before Saml Harrison Junr May 18th 1792

 

Morgan Wood aged about 61 being duly sworn answers the Interrogatories on the part of the Defd as follows.

1. He knows David Weems, but not Richard Botoh.

2. He does not know Esther the mother of Richard Booth.

3. He did not know Jaffy the mother of Esther.

4. He knew Kate Booth very well, she was a brown Mulatto, had short Wool or hair he does not remember how long she has been dead.

5. Kate Booth was free when he knew her, he was told by his Father and Mother that she was set free by King Harrison.

6. He knew four of her Children. Jeffery who belonged to Harrison Lane, William Booth, George Brown and Ned Brown, he does not know their ages.

7. He does not know how long Jaffy and Juda have been dead

8. He never heard whether Jaffy or Juda or either of them were born before the death of King Harrison

9th He has no further knowledge of this subject

Morgan Wood on the part of the Petitioners

1. He is not interested in the event of this petition by holding any of the Relations of the petitioner or otherwise nor is he related to the Defd

2. He never heard till lately of any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom or any measure taken to prevent such application

3. He has never heard any conversation about Kate or Children being free more than he has already mentioned.

4. He never heard any conversation respecting the Mother of Kate.

5. He never heard how old Mr Harrison commonly called King Harrison was when he died.

Morgan Wood
his M mark

May 18th 1792. Sworn before Saml Harrison, Junr.

 

Robert Ward aged about 43 affirm'd to the Interrogatories on the part of the Defd as follows.

1. He knows David Weems.

2. He does not know Esther.

3. He did not know Jaffy the mother of Esther

4. He knew Kate Booth, she was a brown Mulatto, had short woolly hair and has been dead about 33 years.

5. Kate Booth was free when he knew her. He was told by his Father that she was set free by King Harrison for taking care of him when he had the Gout.

6. He knew William Booth and George Brown only.

7. He does not know how long Jaffy and Juda have been dead

8. He never heard whether Jaffey or Juda or either of them were born before the death of Mr Harrison commonly call'd King Harrison. He was told by his Father that Kate Booth had but two Children after she was free which was George and Ned Brown.

9. He has no further knowledge of this subject

One the part of the Petitioner

1. He is no ways interested in the event of this Petition nor is he related to the Defd

2. He never heard of any application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom nor any measure taken to prevent it.

3. He never heard any conversation concerning Kate or her Children being free

4. He never heard any conversation respecting the Mother of Kate.

5. He never heard how old King Harrison was when he died

Robert Ward

May 18th 1792. Affirm'd before
Saml Harrison Junr

 

Mrs Elizabeth Batson aged 84 being duly Sworn Answers the Interrogatories on the part of the Defd as follows.

1. She knew David Weems, but not Richard Booth

2. She does not know Esther the mother of Petitioner

3. She did not know Jaffy the mother of Esther

4. She knew Kate Booth very well. She was a bright mulatto and had short black hair or wool. She does not remember how long she has been dead.

5. Kate Booth was free when she knew her. She was told by her husband John Batson that Kate was set free by King Harrison, and that King Harrison had done it in consequence of a promise he had made to his Wife on her death Bed.

6. She knew four of her Children, William Booth, Juda, George Brown & Ned Brown. She does not remember their ages.

7. She does not know how long Jaffy & Juda have been dead.

8. She never heard whether Jaffy was born before or after the death of King Harrison. Kate Booth told her that Juda was an Infant when King Harrison died, and that he gave her to Mary Lawrence wife of George Lawrence

9. She has no further knowledge of this subject

On the part of the Petitioner

1. She is not Interested in the Event of this Petition either by holding Relations of the petitioner or otherwise, nor is She related to the Defendant.

2. She never knew or heard of any Application on the part of any of the Descendants of Kate Booth for Freedom, nor any measure taken to prevent such Application.

3. She never heard any conversation about any of Kate's Children being free but Wm Booth, Ned Brown & George Brown.

4. She never heard any conversation respecting the Mother of Kate.

5. She never heard how old Mr Harrison commonly call'd King Harrison was when he died

Elizabeth Batson
her E mark

Sworn before Saml Harrison Junr May 24, 1792

 

An Inventory of all and Singular the Goods and Chattells of Richard Harrison late of Calvert County deceased, taken and appraised by us in Current Money of this Province begun the 35th Day of Febry 1716/7

Witness our hands and seales this 9th day of Aprill Anno Dom 1717.

Negroes viz.

Quando
Tom
Sambo
Wappen
Daniel
Will
George
Quibo
Yarrow
Weaver
Harry
Toney       12 Men a £36 432 0 0
Sam
Jack
James
Peter       4 Men a 28£ 112 0 0
Will a Molatto Boy 28 0 0
Moll
Jenney
Beck
Sarah
Nanny       5 Women at 28£ 140 0 0
Joan   Do 24 0 0
Hagan   Do 20 0 0
Peter, Hercules Boys a 24£ 48 0 0
Adam, Davy, Charles, Jeoffry Do 20lb 80 0 0
Jo a Boy 15 0 0
Betty, Sarah Girles at 15 30 0 0
 
Hagar Moll Girles at £6 12 0 0
Annapolis a Boy 10 0 0
A Servt named Eliza Davy 16 16 6
A Servt Do named Anne 8 0 0
Household Stuff &c

I hereby Certify that the within and aforegoing is a true extract from the Inventory of Richard Harrison

Jno Gassaway Regr Wills A.A.Coty

I do hereby Certify agreable to the Inventory of the Estate of George Lawrance late of Calvert County Deceased, and Recorded among the Records of the Orphans Court for the said County, that a Negroe Woman by the name of Judy aged Sixty Years was appraised to Ten pounds current money which said Inventory was returned into the Perogative Office on the 2d day of August 1764.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Affixed the Seale of Office this 6th day of October 1791.

F King Register of Wills for Calvt County

And the prayer of the parties aforesaid by and with the consent of their Attornies aforesaid It is Ruled by the Court here that the Deposition of Mary McKinzie be taken in this Cause on ten days notice being given by the party taking the same to the adverse party, and that the Deposition so taken be read in Evidence on the hearing of this Petition

And afterwards to wit on the second day of June in this same Term to wit May Term seventeen hundred and ninety two the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid files in Court here the following Depositions to wit.

Mary McKenzie of Ann Arundel County aged fifty four years being duly sworn on the Holy evangelists of Almighty God in this Cause deposeth and saith that she knew Cate Booth when the Deponent was young, and he was then free: She was a large Mulatto Woman, and dark but not darker than Mulattoes in common; this Deponent saith that she never understood from Cate who her father was, or who her mother was, but has understood from her that her Master left her free; that the said Cate noted used to stay a month at a time at the Deponent's father's house, and then went on crutches: that   the Deponent is the Daughter of William Parrott of Anne Arundel County deceased, who was a near Neighbour to Harrison Lane, deceased, and she used also to go to John Batson's which Batson lived three or four miles from the Deponent's Father; the Deponent knew Jaffery Son of Cate, and Will Booth also, and she knew Ned and George her sons; that Ned and George were free and born as the said Cate has informed this Deponent after she was free; the Deponent further saith that she once asked Cate why her Children did not come to see her, instead of her going so far to see them, as she was on Crutches; She replied that their masters would not let them.

Being asked if she ever heard her the said Cate speak of her Children, born before she was free as slaves? Answers she believes she has but she was young and don't very well remember; Being asked if she ever heard Cate say her Children born before she was free, were slaves? Answers No; Being asked if she ever heard Cate Booth say that she the said Cate was a slave before she was set free by her Master? Answers No. Being asked if she ever heard Cate say which of her Children were born after she was free; answers she has heard her say that Ned and George were born after she was free; but can't say that she ever heard her say that all the rest of her Children were born before she was free. Being asked what she means by saying she has heard old Cate speak of her Children as Slaves. Answers that she understood from Cate that her Children were held in Servitude; but can't say that Kate told her whether they were held in Servitude as Servants or as Slaves; being asked if it was the general opinion of people in the neighbourhood that Cate was a slave before she was set free, or that she was born free; answers she cannot say, for she never heard much about it untill lately. Being asked if she knew any thing further; answers she does not. Sworn to this thirty first day of May 1792 before the Subscriber one of the Alderman of the City of Annapolis J Bullen

Taken in presence of us by consent
G Duvall for Deft
H Ridgely for Petitioner

Richard Harrison of Anne Arundel County aged thirty eight years being sworn on the holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith that he knows William Wood Nehemiah Birkhead, Morgan Wood, Robert Ward, William   Armager, Mary Brown, Philemon Lloyd Chew, Joseph Crandall and John Batson who have been sworn as Witnesses on the part of the Defendant in this cause and he has known them for many years, and they are persons of Reputation and Credit, and their Testimony ought to be regarded. This Deponent has also known Joseph Mumford for several years and being asked what is the general character of the said Joseph Mumford saith he is a man of very bad character; Being asked if he knew the general character of John King and James Gibson of Calvert County. Answers he does not know them

Sworn to this second day of June 1792 before the Subscriber one of the Aldermen of the City of Annapolis
James Brice

Taken in presence of us
H Ridgely for Petr
G Duvall for Deft.

And the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney aforesaid as before defends the Complaint aforesaid when and where the said Court &c But because the court here are not yet advised to give their Judgment of and upon the premises Day therefore is further given to the parties aforesaid until the second Tuesday of October next to hear their Judgment of and upon the premises because the Court here thereof are not yet &c

And now here at this day to wit the said second Tuesday of October being the ninth day of the same month Anno Domini seventeen hundred and ninety two comes again here into our General Court as well the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior and Henry Ridgely his Attornies aforesaid as the aforesaid David Weems by Gabriel Duvall his attorney aforesaid

And thereupon the Honorable Samuel Chase and Jeremiah Townley Chase Esquires having been former Counsell for the petitioner in the premises aforesaid withdrew from the Bench of the Court here

Whereupon all and singular as well the matter in the premises aforesaid as the Evidences aforesaid being by the Honorable Robert Goldsborough Esquire one of the Judges of our said Court, seen heard and fully understood and mature deliberation thereupon had for that it appears to the said Judge that the said Richard Booth the petitioner is a slave

Thereupon it is adjudged by the Court here that the aforesaid David Weems has property in the said Richard Booth as his slave and that the   said Richard Booth the petitioner return to the Service of his Master the aforesaid David Weems and in the Service of his said Master to remain &c And that the aforesaid David Weems of the Petition and premises aforesaid go thereof without day &c

And thereupon the aforesaid Richard Booth by Richard Sprigg Junior and Henry Ridgely his Attornies aforesaid prays an Appeal from the Judgment aforesaid so as aforesaid rendered to the State of Maryland High Court of Appeals, and the same is granted him

It is therefore ordered that the Record and Proceedings in the Premises aforesaid be transmitted to the State of Maryland's High Court of Appeals, and a Transcript of the Record and proceedings between the parties aforesaid in the premises aforesaid with all thing thereunto relating is hereby transmitted to the said State of Marylands High Court of Appeals accordingly

Test
John Gwinn Clk

In Testimony whereof that the aforegoing is a true Copy taken from the Record of proceedings of the General Court four the Western Shore of the State aforesaid I have hereunto set my Hand and Affixed the Seal of my Office this 25th day of October Anno Domini 1792.

John Gwinn Clerk Genl Court Westn Shore State of Maryld

 

Richard Booth
vs
David Weems

Transcript

filed 14th Novr 1792

Recorded in Liber B. W. No 2
folios 444 to [illegible]

124 sides Exd