Basil Shorter v. Henry Rozer. Judgment Record

 

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozier

Ha Cor. Petition for Freedom Issues Joined Jurors return and find for the Petitioner upon both Issues. Depositions filed Exception and Copy of a Record filed

Therefore it is considered by the Judges of the Court here that the Petitioner be free and discharged from all further servitude: And that the said Henry Rozier pay him the costs of prosecuting his petition.

Appeal prayed and granted to the High Court of Appeals. Ordered that the proceedings be transmitted.

  • 1 John Barrett Onion
  • 2 William Gordon
  • 3 James Cresap
  • 4 Henry Crest
  • 5 Benja Hungerford
  • 6 Thomas Hellen
  • 7 Benja Richardson
  • 8 William Hammond
  • 9 Thomas Lingan
  • 10 Robert Baden
  • 11 William McComas
  • 12 Stephen Jones
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Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

Be it remembered that heretofore towit[?] on the seventeenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four, the Petitioner by Gabriel Duvall his Attorney sued forth out of the General Court here the writ of the State of Maryland of Certiorari to the Justices of Prince Georges County directed in the words and of the tenor following, to wit.

The State of Maryland Sct To the Justices of Prince Georges County, Greeting. Whereas lately in our said Court Henry Rozier late of Prince Georges County, was summoned to answer unto Basil Shorter of a Plea for Freedom which said Plea is still depending before you our said Justices in our said County Court, as it is said, undetermined and we being desirous for certain reasons, that the record and Proceeding in the plea aforesaid should by you be certified to us, do command you, that you send under your seals, the record of the Proceedings aforesaid in the Plea aforesaid, with all things touching the same, into our General Court to be held at the City of Annapolis the second Tuesday of October next plainly and distinctly and in as full and ample manner, as it now remains before you, together with this Writ so that we may be able thereon to proceed and to do what shall appear to us of right ought to be done. Witness the Honourable Samuel Chase Esquire, Chief Judge of our said Court the thirty first day of May Anno Domini 1794.

Issued the 17th day of June 1794.

Jno Gwinn Cl

At which said second Tuesday of October being the fourteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four comes here into the General Court the said Basil Shorter by his Attorney aforesaid and the Justices of Prince   Georges County in pursuance of the command of the said writ make return of a certain Record of Proceedings in the Plea aforesaid in the words and of the Tenor following, to wit

Prince Georges County, to wit.

At a County Court of the State of Maryland held for the County aforesaid at Upper Marlborough Town in said County on the first Monday in September being the first day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four.

Present.
Michael Jenifer Stone Esquire Chief Justice
David Craufurd and Thomas Duckett Esquires Associate Justices
William John Jackson Esquire Sheriff
John R Magruder Junr Clk.

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

Basil Shorter
a
Henry Rozer

Prince Georges County, to wit

Be it remembered that heretofore, to wit on the first Monday in April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety one Basil Shorter by Gabriel Duvall and John Mackall Gantt his Attorney preferred to the Court here his Petition for Freedom against Henry Rozer in the words following, to wit.

To the Worshipful the Justices of Prince Georges County.

The Petition of Basil Shorter humbly sheweth that he is held in slavery by Henry Rozer Esquire of the County aforesaid although he considers himself entitled to his Freedom being lineally descended in the female line from Elizabeth Shorter a free white woman. He therefore prays your Worships to order summons to issue against the said Henry Rozer to attend this Court & answer the Premises and he will pray and so forth.

G. Duvall for Pet.

Which said Petition being read and heard it was by the Court here ordered that summons issue against the said Henry Rozer that all excuses and delays set aside he be and appear immediately before the Justices of our County Court now setting to answer the Petition aforesaid which said summons was accordingly issued and return thereof made   made by Edward Lloyd Wailes Gentleman Sheriff of the County aforesaid that he hath summoned the said Henry Rozer to appear and answer the Petition aforesaid according to the exigence of the said Summons as thereby he was directed.

And thereupon agreeable to the said summons comes the said Henry Rozer by Philip Barton Key and William Hammond Dorsey his Attorney and at the Prayer of the said Basil Shorter by his Attorneys aforesaid it is ordered by the Court here that the said Henry Rozer enter into Recognizance with one sufficient security in the sum of two hundred pounds current money not to transport the said Basil Shorter, but to suffer him to appear to prosecute his Petition for Freedom and at all times allow him a reasonable time to advise with his counsel on his said Petition &ca

Whereupon Henry Rozer and Notley Young present here in Court in the proper persons acknowledge themselves to owe and stand justly indebted to the State of Maryland in the sum of two hundred pounds current money to be levied of their and each of their Bodies, goods and chattels Lands, and Tenements to the use of the said state into whosoever hands they shall come on condition that the said Henry Rozier shall not transport a certain Negro Basil Shorter from the State of Maryland but shall suffer and permit him the said Basil Shorter to appear at the next County Court to be held at Upper Marlborough Town in Prince Georges County on the first Monday in September next to prosecute the said Petition for Freedom and at all times suffer the said Basil Shorter to have a reasonable time to advise with his Counsel on his said Petition. The the above Recognizance to be void, otherwise of force.

And the said Basil Shorter and Henry Rozer by their Attorneys enter into the following agreement which is filed, to wit.

Ruled by the consent of Parties in this cause that the Depositions of Dorothy Hall, Giles Green, James Gates, Walter Hanson, John McAtee, John Clements, and Patrick Hamilton taken on ten days Notice to the adverse Party on their counsel be read as evidence in this cause and in the other Petitions against Notley Young Esqr & Mary Hurley

G. Duvall for Pet.

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And thereupon day is given as well to the said Basil Shorter as to the said Henry Rozer by their Attorneys aforesaid to hear the allegation and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer of and upon the Premises aforesaid untill the first Monday in September next.

At which day, to wit, the first Monday in September in the year seventeen hundred and ninety one aforesaid come here again the Parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid and at the prayer of the Parties aforesaid by their said Attorneys aforesaid leave is granted by the Court to take depositions on either side on giving five days Notice to the adverse Party.

And thereupon day is further given to the parties aforesaid to hear the Allegations and evidence as well on the Part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer of and upon the premises aforesaid until the first Monday in April next.

At which day, to wit, the first Monday in April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety two here come again the Parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid and at the prayer of the said Parties by their said Attorneys leave is granted by the Court to take Depositions by either Party on giving ten days Notice to Notley Young and Henry Rozer on to either of them or either of their Attorneys and thereupon day is further given to the said Parties to hear the allegations, and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer of and upon the Premises aforesaid until the first Monday in September next.

At which day, to with the first Monday in September in the year last aforesaid here come again the parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid, and thereupon day is further given to the said parties to hear the Allegations and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer of and upon the Premises aforesaid until the first Monday in April next.

At which day, to wit, the first Monday in April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety three here come again the parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid And thereupon by consent of the said parties and their Attorneys aforesaid, day is further given to the said Parties to   to hear the allegations and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer untill the first Monday in September next.

At which day, to wit, the first Monday in September in the year last aforesaid here come again the Parties aforesaid by their Attornies aforesaid. And thereupon by Consent of the Parties and their Attorneys aforesaid, day is further given to the said Parties to hear the allegations and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer until the first Monday in April next.

At which day to with the first Monday in the April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety four here come again the Parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid And thereupon by consent of the Parties and their Attorneys aforesaid day is further given to the said parties to hear the allegations and evidence as well on the part and behalf of the said Basil Shorter as the said Henry Rozer untill the first Monday in September next.

At which day, to wit the first Monday in September in the year last aforesaid here come again the Parties aforesaid by their Attorneys aforesaid. And the said Basil Shorter by his Attorneys aforesaid produces to the Court here the State of Maryland's Writ of Certiorari closed in the following words, to wit.

The State of Maryland Sct To the Justices of Prince George County Greeting. Whereas lately in our said Court Henry Rozer late of Prince Georges County was summoned to answer unto Basil Shorter of a Plea of Freedom which said Plea is still depending before you our said Justices in our said County Court as it is said undetermined and We being desirous for certain reasons that the Record of Proceedings in the Plea aforesaid should by you be certified to us, do command you that you send under your seals the Record of the Proceedings aforesaid in the Plea aforesaid with all things touching the same unto our General Court to be held at the City of Annapolis the second Tuesday of October next plainly and distinctly and in as full and ample manner as it now remains before you together with this Writ so that we may be able thereon to proceed and to do what shall appear to us of right ought to be done Witness the Honorable Samuel Chase Esquire Chief Judge of our said Court the thirty first   day of May Anno Domini 1794.

Issued the 17th day of June 1794.

Jno Gwinn Clk
GD.

Which aforesaid Writ of Certiorari being by the Court here received and allowed. It is ordered that the record of Proceedings in the Plea aforesaid with all things relating to the same be transmitted to the Honorable the Judges of the General Court a Transcript whereof together with the Writ of Certiorari annexed is hereby transmitted accordingly.

Test John R. Magruder Junr Clk

In Testimony that the aforegoing is a true copy taken from the Record of Proceedings of Prince Georges County Court, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office this tenth day of October seventeen hundred and ninety four.

John Read Magruder Junr Clk of Prince Georges County Court

At which aforementioned second Tuesday of October being the fourteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four comes into the General Court here as well the aforesaid Basil Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid by Gabriel Duvall and William Pinkney his Attorneys as the said Henry Rozier by Philip Barton Key and William Hammond Dorsey his Attornies. And as well the aforesaid Basil Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid by his Attornies aforesaid as the said Henry Rozer by his Attornies aforesaid files in Court here the following Depositions, to wit.

At the request of Mr Anthony Neale the following Certificate and Deposition were recorded.

Maryland Sst Mary's County. These are to certify that in ye yeare one thousand six hundred and eighty one or near about that time I Nicholas Gulick Preist the subscriber hereof did Joyne together in the Holy Estate of Matrimony according to then Law a Negro Man (named to the best of my remembrance little Robin) to a white Woman whose name was Elizabeth Shorter which couple all that time were both servants unto Mr William Roswell (deceased) and was after as I am informed disposed of by the said Roswell unto Mr Anthony Neale of Charles County.

Certified under my hand this 15th day of June Anno 1702

Nicholas Geulick.

 

Memorandum. They day and yeare above came before me Mr Geulick and made Oath upon the Holy Evangelist that the above Affidavit is ye whole truth and nothing butt ye truth, Juratt coram me

Joshua Guibert.

Maryland Ss. St Mary's County, Ema Roswell Widow aged seaventy years or thereabouts being sworne on ye Holy Evangelist declareth upon her Oath that she the said Deponant was present att the marriage of the above said couple and that the Seremony was performed by the above said Mr. Nicholass Gulick, Preist and that the Negro Man's name was little Robin, and the white woman's name Elizabeth Shorter and that they were at the time of their being marryed both servants unto this Deponants Husband, William Roswell decd and by him given and made over and delivered up unto Anthony Neale upon marriage of the said Neale wth Elizabeth the daughter of sd Roswell & have remained in ye said Neales service ever since, & yt after the marriage of ye sd Negro Man & White Woman ye sd White Woman had three mollatto Girl Children named Mary, Jane, and Martha, who are now liveing to the best of this Deponant's knowledge

This 15th day of June Anno 1702.

Jurat coram me Joshua Guibert

Maryland St. Mary's County Ss. King & Queen Parrish June 6th 1702. Then Recorded upon ye Record Book of the above said Parrish the two within affidavits, one of Mr Nicholass Gewlick Preist the other of Mrs Ema Roswell this being a true coppy as now Given under my hand the day and date above

P[?] Me Wm Havett Clk vestry 1702. Entred on the Records of Charles County June ye 25th 1703.

Maryland Charles County, to wit

In testimony that the aforegoing Certificates & deposition are truly copied from Liber W No 1 Folios 225 & 226 one of the Land Records of Charles County, I have hereunto set my hand & affixed the seal of my office this 15th day of August 1791.

Jno B Turner Clk of Charles County Court

State if Maryland Charles County, to wit

I certify that I have made an accurate search for the original Certificate and Affidavits of Nicholas Guelick   Guelick and Ema Roswell respecting the marriage of a Negro Man by the name of little Robin to a white Woman named Elizabeth Shorter and that the same are not to be found among the Papers remaining in the Clerks office for the County aforesaid.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office this 24 day of October Anna Domini 1794.

Jno B Turner Clk of Charles County

October 24th 1794.

Sir
The Books which the vestry of King & Queen Parish put in my Hands contains nothing recorded further back than 1744. It is possible the marriage you want might have been recorded in one of them as part of that which contains the marriages is destroyed. If there be any other Book or Books they have never come under my Notice nor have ever I heard of any other. I shall particularly inquire of the several Vestry Men whether they know of any other Book or Books belonging to the said Parish and if there should be any I will make a strict search and if should be successful in finding a Record of the Marriage you write for, I will forward a Certificat with all possible speed. I am yours &c

Alexander Turner, Register King and Queen Parish

Mr G. Duvall, Annapolis

An Inventory of the Goods and Chattels of Mr Anthony Neale late of Charles County deced. Appraised as follows (vizt) 1 Old Negro man called Harrey at £10. 1 old ditto called Frank £20 1 Lusty Negroe Man called Andrew £32. 1 Ditto called Grey £32. 1 Ditto called Tom £30. 1 Ditto called Jeffery £30. A Do called Robin £30. A Malatta Woman called Mary £28. 1 Negro Do called Cherry £25 1 Do Nell £25. 1 Do Bets, £25. 1 Do Nan, £22. 1 Do Jenny £28 1 Negro Girl abt 12 year old called Pegg £20 A Do 11 year old called Nanny Girl £18. 1 Do 8 year old Sarah £15 1 Do 6 year old Betty £12. 1 Do 5 year old Bets £10 1 Do 5 year old Pegg £10. 1 Do Boy named Timboy abt 10 year old £18. 1 Do abt 3 year old named Nacey £6 1 Do called Sam abt 1/2 year old £1 1 Do Charles abt 1 1/2 year old £2: 1 Malatta Man named Petter £35: 1 Do Boy John abt 14 year old £18: 1 Do Andrew abt 12 year old £16: 1 Do Peter abt 11 year old £17: 1 Do Charles abt 9 year old £15: 1   1 Do Tommy abt 1 1/2 year old £2: 1 Do sick called Ned abt 1/2 year old £1: 1 Do Girl called Kate abt 7 year old £14: 1 Do called Polley abt 5 year old £10: 1 old Blind lame, Negroe, Man Sipeo worth nothing.

In Testimony that the within is a true extract from the Inventory of Anthony Neale of Charles County proved the 9th day of February 1723 and recorded among the Records of the late Prerogative Office, and that it contains all the Negroes in said Inventory, the remainder consisting of stock, Provision, and Plantation Utensils, &c I have hereto set my hand and affixed my seal of office this 27th day of March in the year of our Lord 1792.

Jno Gassaway Regr Wills AA Coty

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

Peto in Prince Georges County Court for Freedom.

William Hill of Prince Georges County aged fifty eight years and upwards being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposits and saith that he knows Basil the Petitioner and he knew Linda the mother of Basil ever since he was five or six years old. That the Deponent served his Apprenticeship with Richard McHenry a Bricklayer, and the year after he was out of his Apprenticeship, which was when he was twenty one years of Age he was at work at the House of the Defendant and the said Linda was then living there, as was also Mary the reputed mother of Linda, which Mary the Deponent always understood the Defendant got by his marriage with his wife the daughter of Mr Neale. being asked what was the Christian name of the said Neale, answered Edward. and the Deponent says he has often heard John Parnham of Charles County, now deceased, when the Deponent was a boy and waited on him, say that Mary aforesaid the mother of Linda had as much right to her Freedom as the Mother of the Deponent had. that the Deponent's Mother was the daughter of a white Woman; and this the Deponent heard the said John Parnham say so to his wife several times; that at the times aforesaid he called the said Mary old Moll Short; and that the said John Parnham was son of John Parnham and Uncle to Doctor John Parnham now living in Charles County, and he thinks has been dead upwards of forty years: Being asked from whom he heard that Mr Rozer got the aforesaid Mol by marriage with the   daughter of Edward Neale, answers he knew her the said Moll when she lived with Edward Neale, and he further saith that the mother of the Deponent served her time with the said John Parham who made the Declarations aforesaid & he further saith that his Grandmother who was a white woman & a Scotch woman served her time which was four years to old Mr Henry Wharton, whose daughter the aforesaid John Parnham married & was living with the said Henry Wharton when the said Declarations were made, and afterwards lived with he said John Parnham some months

Sworn to this 23d day of October 1792. before J. Bullen.

This Deposition to be read in evidence on the General question in all the cases of Petitions by the Shorter in Prince George's County where we are concerned & an attested copy of it to be admitted in all cases in the General Court where we are concerned.

G. Duvall for Petrs
Philip B Key

23d Octr 1792.

Shorter
vs
Henry Rozier

William Hill of St. Mary's County being again sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God with the consent of the Counsel on each side, deposeth, and saith that when he lived in the Family of Henry Wharton he used to go as a Millboy to Tomaiskin Mill for about two years, and during that time no other boy was sent from his Master's Family but himself, and during the whole of that time Jenny Short attended and managed said Mill, and there was no other Miller but herself for that space of time; that he thinks when he first went to the mill he was about twelve or thirteen years old, and he and Jenny together could not well put the bag upon the Horse; that Jenny was a very short woman, and he remembers that once after they had tried and could not put the bag upon the Horse, he the Deponent went to the House of a Neighbour who lived about half a mile off, and a young man named Hazeldine went with him and assisted in putting up the Bag; that at other times some of the family who were occasionally there & others who happened at the Mill would assist in putting up the Bag: that afterwards as he grew stronger he and Jenny could put it up.

Sworn before Rinde Johnson
Septr 2nd 1794.

 

Basil Shorter
against
Henry Rozer

The Deposition of Thomas Webster of Charles County (a free Mulatto) aged seventy years and upwards being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God deposeth & saith that he was born free of a white woman whose name was Lydia Webster; that he was born as he has been told, in Calvert County, but was brought up in Charles County ever since he could remember any thing; that he knew Mulatto Moll who belonged to Edward Neale son of Anthony Neale ever since he was about thirteen or fourteen years old; and that he knew her until the time of her death in the family of Henry Rozer which he thinks, happened thirty years ago or more; that the said Mulatto Moll was called Moll Short by the whites and Blacks of the family of the said Edward Neale that this Deponent when he was a lad used to go to Church the House of the said Edward Neale to be catechized, and the said Moll used to give him victuals that she did this frequently and often when he was there; and he was well acquainted in the family of the said Edward Neale, being raised in the Neighbourhood where he served his time with Edward Clements until he was twenty six years of Age; he further saith that he knew Patty and Jenny two of the sisters of the aforesaid Moll but he barely knew them, having not seen them often; he remembers that he has seen them in company with the aforesaid Mulatto Moll at William Neales near Port Tobacco, and they called her sister and were called sisters by the said Moll; that the said Patty and Jenny were Mulattoes; that he saw Mulatto Moll twice at the House of the said Henry Rozer after she belonged to him; and he understood that he got her by his marriage with one of the daughters of the said Edward Neale whose name he thinks was Miss Nelly Neale. He further saith that the said Mulatto Moll claimed her Freedom as being the Daughter of a white woman, but this Deponent never heard that she was the daughter of a white woman from any person but herself; nor does he remember ever to have heard any person except herself talk of her claiming her Freedom. Sworn to this 23d March 1793 before   before Henry Barnes.

Taken in the presence of G. Duvall atty for Petrs
Philip B Key for Defdt

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

The Deposition of William Hill a free person of colour, born free aged sixty seven years being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God in this cause deposeth & saith that he has seen Basil Shorter the Petitioner, and has known the Defendant ever since he was a boy. And he saith that when he was about twelve or thirteen years old he knew a mulatto woman named Jenny Shorter who lived at Roswell Neale's on Clement's Bay in St. Mary's County; that the said Jenny Shorter was a Flux Doctor and he was frequently sent for the said Jenny to attend the families of old Henry Wharton, Joshua Doyars, and Mr Sligh when sick with the Flux; that the said Jenny then managed a Mill for the said Roswell Neale which was called Tomacokin Mill, and when he was sent for her as aforesaid, he applied to her the said Jenny, and not to Roswell Neale, and she would attend those families, and the said Jenny Shorter had great liberty in going about & attending people sick with the Flux in the Neighbourhood, but whether she was free or entitled to Freedom he never heard, and he never heard her claim her Freedom, nor any other person say that she claimed it; that the said Jenny was a remarkably short, squat woman & he thinks he never saw a shorter woman; that he knew at the same time a mulatto woman called Patty who lived with John Lancaster, which said Patty was generally reported to be the sister of the aforesaid Jenny, but he never heard her called Patty Shorter, that the said Jenny was sometimes called Jenny Short and sometimes Jenny Shorter; that he has understood that the said John Lancaster got the said Patty by his wife, but he does not remember who his wife was; that he knew another Mulatto woman named Mary who lived at Edward Neale's which Edward was father of Mrs Rozer wife of the Defendant, that she was generally reputed to be the sister of the said Jenny, but he never heard her called Mary Shorter; that he never heard who was the mother of the said three women, that the said Jenny when he first knew her was done breeding, and had daughters grown who   who were women; but he cannot say how old she was. The Deponent being asked if his Mother was a white woman answers, she was, and a Scotch woman named Jane Hill, and the Deponent was about sixteen years old when she died at Doctor Francis Parnham's. that he the Deponent served his time partly with Justinian Wharton deceased with whom his Mother lived after the death of Henry Wharton with whom his mother lived when he was born, as he has understood, and she was held as a servant by him; that he never heard any of the family of the aforesaid three sisters claim their Freedom until lately. that the aforesaid Patty and Molly were common sized women. Sworn to this 2nd day of September 1793 in presence of William H Dorsey & Gabriel Duvall Attornies in this suit before David Craufurd

Agreed to be read in evidence in all cases where we are concerned.

Admitted G. Duvall Atty for Petrs
Wm H Dorsey for Defts
Philip B Key for Defts

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

Peto for Freedom in Prince George's County Court. Jane Hicky of Prince Georges County of lawful age being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God to say the truth in this cause deposeth and saith, That she knows the Petitioner Basil, and knew his Mother in her life time who was named Linda; that she knows nothing of his claim to Freedom That she has lived nine years in the family of the Defendant and never heard any conversation from Mr Rozer in which he acknowledged that Basil Shorter was descended from a white woman, or any conversation in favour of his rights to Freedom. April 8th 1794. sworn before Saml Hepburn.

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

Petition for Freedom in Prince Georges County Court.

Jeremiah Neale of St Mary's County aged upwards of fifty five years, being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, to say the truth in this cause, deposeth and saith. That since the dispute between Basil and his master this Deponent once saw the Petitioner but he never knew him before. That he did not know the mother of Basil. That he did not know a yellow woman by the of Moll who   who belonged to Mr. Rozer: That he knew a Mulatto woman who belonged to his Father Roswell Neale of St. Mary's County called Jenny Short, who was a very short woman. Being asked if he knew the mother of Jenny Short, answers, he did not; that Jenny was between fifty & sixty years of age when this Defendant first knew her according to the best of his recollection and memory as early as he can remember her she was past labour & used to go about doctoring for the Flux and used to raise Poultry & take care of Negro Children. Being asked if he ever heard any conversation from his Father or any other person respecting the mother of Jenny Short, answers he never did. Being asked if he ever heard from his Father or any other Person that Jenny was descended from a white woman, answers, he never did. Being asked if he ever heard that there was a white woman in the Family of Anthony Neale who had mulatto children, answers, he never did. He knows a white woman by the name of Mary Ennis who had a daughter named Eleanor who is now living and who is about as old as this Deponent and who lived with his Father. That he understood that Mary Ennis had mulatto children who are all free, and he never heard of any other white woman in the Neale Family who had mulatto children; Being asked if he knew Patty a sister of Jenny who belonged to Mr Lancaster, answers he did not, and never heard of such a person. Being asked if he knew that Jenny had children & how many, answers, he believes he knew all she had. he knew six who were reputed to be her children: that is to say Lucy, Appy, and Betty, & three sons, Ned, Jem & Charles. Betty was the youngest; that he gave Lucy to his Deponants Brother, William Neale Father of Leonard Neale the Priest who lived on the Hill above Port Tobacco Town: Appy he gave to another Brother, Henry Neale; and Betty was sold to James Mills of St Mary's County whether, before or after his father's death, he knows not; that he has seen some of Siny's children but does not recollect all their names; he thinks she had one named Bob, and another Nick, but cannot be positive; that he has known a good many of Appy's children, but dont remember them all particularly; she had a son named George, who he believes is the Person petitioning against Henry Neale a son of the Deponents Brother Henry. This Deponent knows a woman in the Poor House of St Mary's County   County at this time called Betty Daley that she lived in the Neighbourhood of this Deponents Father, that the said Betty as he was informed was twice married in the lifetime of his Father; her first Husband it was said run away, and[?] she married a second time, and this Deponent was present at the marriage; that said Daley lived about three quarters of a mile from the House of this Deponent's Father.

Sworn before Saml Hepburn

April 8th 1794

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

In Prince George's County Court. Petition for Freedom.

Petitioners Interrogatories

1st Do you know the Parties, the Petitioner and the Defendant, and how long have you known them?

2nd Do you know the Linda the mother of the Petitioner and how long have you known her?

3d Do you, or did you know the Mary or Moll Grandmother of the Petitioner and to whom did she belong?

4th Did you know Mary Shorter commonly called Malatto Moll who lived with Anthony Neale (who died in Charles County many years ago) and did you know the said Malatto Moll when she lived with James Neale, son of Anthony Neale and with whom did she afterwards live, and how long has she been dead?

5th Do you know, or have you heard, and from whom that Malatto Moll, mentioned in the preceding Interrogatory was the daughter of a white woman, if so what was the name of the white woman? was it Elizabeth Shorter, or what was her name?

6th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom, that Elizabeth Shorter a free white woman was married to a Negro Man called little Robin formerly the property of William Roswell of St Mary's County, and that the said Elizabeth Shorter with her children were given by the said Roswell to Anthony Neale?

7th Do you know or have you heard and from whom, how many children the said Elizabeth Shorter had & what were their names, and with whom did they live, and die, and when?

8th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom, that the said Elizabeth Shorter had a daughter named Moll, another named Jane, or Jenny, and another named Martha or Patty? If so with whom did they live and die and how long have they been dead?

9th  

9th If you know Jane, Moll, and Patty, the children of Elizabeth Shorter, how many children had each or either of them what were their names, and with whom did they respectively live an die, and how long since?

10th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that the Petitioner Basil Shorter or Linda his mother or Moll, his Grandmother is, or were descended from a white woman, and what was her name?

11th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that the Family of Negroes who called themselves Shorter or Shorts or any and which of them, were descended from a white woman and what was her name, and with whom did you understand she lived.

12th Did you know Mrs Anny Neale widow of William Neale near Port Tobacco, if yea, did you ever hear her say any thing of the Shorter and which of them, and dis she say they were descended from a white woman, and what was her name and with whom did she live?

13th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that the that the Negroes or Mulattoes, who call themselves Shorters or any of them are descended from a white woman and what was her name?

14th Were you ever present when Persons were sworn concerning the right of the Shorter to Freedom; if yea, or what occasion was it, what were their names, what did they depose, and were they People of Credit?

15th Have you any further knowledge concerning the wright of the Petitioner or any of his Family to Freedom, if yea relate it fully and freely.

G Duvall, J M Gantt for Petitioner

Osborn Shorter
vs
Mary Hurley

Prince Georges County Court. Petition for Freedom.

Petitioners Interrogatories.

1st Do you know the Parties the Petitioner, and the Defendant, and how long have you known them?

2nd Do you know Caty the mother of the Petitioner and how long have you known her?

3d Do you know, or did you know Caty, the Grandmother of the Petitioner, and to whom did she belong?

4th Did you know Mary Shorter commonly called Malatto Moll   Moll who lived with Anthony Neale (who died in Charles County many years ago, and did you know the said Mulatto Moll when she lived with James Neale son of Anthony Neale, and with whom did she afterwards live, and how long has she been dead?

5th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that Mullatto Moll mentioned in the preceding Interrogatory was the daughter of a white woman, if so what was the name of the white woman? was it Elizabeth Shorter or what was her name?

6th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that Elizabeth Shorter a free white woman was married to a Negro called little Robin formerly the Property of William Roswell of St Mary's County, and that the said Elizabeth Shorter, with her children were given by said Roswell to Anthony Neale?

7th Do you know or have your heard and from whom how many children the said Elizabeth Shorter had, what were their names and with whom did they live and die and when?

8th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that the said Elizabeth Shorter had a daughter named Moll, another named Jane, or Jenny, and another named Martha or Patty, if so with whom did they live and die, and how long have they been dead?

9th If you know Jane, Moll, and Patty, the children of Elizabeth Shorter, how many children had each, or other of them what were their names, and with whom did they respectively live and die, and how long since>?

10th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that the Petitioner, Osborn Shorter, or Caty his Mother, or Caty his Grand Mother is or were descended from a white woman and what was her name?

11th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that the Family of the Negroes who called themselves Shorters or Shorts or any, and which of them were discended from a white woman and what was her name and with whom did you understand she lived?

12th Did you know Mrs Neale, Widow of William Neale near Port Tobacco; if yea did you ever hear her say any thing of the Shorters, and which of them, and did she say they were descended from a white woman and what was her name and with whom did she live?

13th  

13th Do you know or have your heard and from whom that the Negroes or Malattoes who called themselves Shorters or any of them are descended from a white woman, and what was her name?

14th Were you ever present when persons were sworn concerning the Right of the Shorters to Freedom? if yea, on what occasion was it, what were their names, what did they depose and were they People of Credit?

15th Have you any further knowledge concerning the Right of the Petitioner, or any of his Family to Freedom, if yea relate it fully and freely.

G. Duvall J M Gantt for Petitioner

Osborn Shorter
vs
Mary Hurley

1st Deposition

Prince Georges County Court. Petition for Freedom.

The Deposition of sundry Persons sworn and examined on the annexed Interrogations, in Charles County, by virtue of a rule of Court for the Purpose made in this Cause on the part and behalf of the Petitioner.

The Deposition of Mr John Lancaster Senr of Charles County aged about sixty years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth, and saith as follows, to wit.

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory, this Deponent saith That he knows neither.

Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he knows nothing.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith he knows nothing.

I do hereby certify that the above Deposition was taken before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County on the twenty first of August 1792 at the House of Thomas Crackles in Porto in the presence of Haden Edwards on behalf of John M Gantt Atty for the Petitioner & Philip B Key atty for the Defendt

Henry Barnes

2.

The Deposition of the revd Leonard Neale of Charles County aged about forty five years, being first duly sworn on the holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith as follows to wit

 

Imprimus. To the first Interrogatory, this Deponent saith that I neither know the Petitioner nor Defendant

Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith That I know nothing of the mother of the Petitioner.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That I never knew anything of the Grandmother of the Petitioner I do hereby certify that the foregoing Deposition was taken before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices for Charles County at the House of Thomas Crackes in Port Tobacco in the presence of Haden Edwards Esq in behalf of John M Gantt atty for the Petitioner, and Philip B Key Esqr Attorney for the Defendant.

Henry Barnes

The Deposition of Elizabeth Thorn of Charles County aged about 65 years, being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith, as follows, to wit,

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith That knows neither.

Item. To the 2nd Interrogatory this Deponent saith that she knows nothing. The woman knows nothing but herself.

The above Deposition was taken on the 25th August 1792 in presence of Haden Edwards Esqr on behalf of John M Gantt attorney for the Petitioner & Henry Rozer Esqr Defendant. Before the subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County.

Henry Barnes

Charles Shorter
vs
Notley Young

Prince Georges County Court

Petition for Freedom

Petitioners Interrogatories.

1st Do you know the Parties the Petitioner and the Defendant and how long have you known them?

2nd Do you know Caty the mother of the Petitioner and how long have you known her?

3d Do you, or did you know Mary the Grandmother of the Petitioner and to whom did the belong?

4th Did you know Mary Shorter commonly called Mulatto Moll who lived with Anthony Neale (who died in Charles County many years ago) and did you know the said Mulatto Moll when she lived with James Neale, son of Anthony Neale and with whom did she afterwards live, and how long hath she been dead?

5th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that Mulatto   Mulatto Moll mentioned in the preceding Interrogatories, was the daughter of a white woman: if so what was the name of the white woman, was it Elizabeth Shorter, or what was her name?

6th Do you know, or have your heard and from whom that Elizabeth Shorter a free white woman was married to a Negroe called little Robin formerly the Property of William Roswell of St Mary's County, and that the said Elizabeth Shorter with her children were given by the said Roswell to Anthony Neale?

7th Do you know, or have you heard, and from whom how many children the said Elizabeth Shorter had, what were their names and with whom did they live and die, and when?

8th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom, that the said Elizabeth Shorter had a daughter named Moll, another named Jane or Jenny, and another named Martha or Patty, If so with whom did they live and die and how long have they been dead?

9th If you know Moll, Jane and Patty the children of Elizabeth Shorter, how many children had each or either of them, what were their names, and with whom did they respectively live and die and how long since?

10th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that the petitioner Charles Shorter or Caty his mother or Mary his Grandmother is or were descended from a white woman, and what was her name?

11th Do you know, or have you heard and from whom that the Family of the Negroes who called themselves Shorters or Shorts or any, and which of them were descended from a white woman and what was her name and with whom did you understand she lived.

12 Did you know Mrs Neale Widow of William Neale near Port Tobacco, if yea did you ever hear her say anything of the Shorters, and which of them, and did she say they were descended from a white woman and what was her name and with whom did she live.

13th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that the Negroes or Mulattoes who call themselves Shorters or any of them are descended from a white woman and what was her name?

14 Were you ever present when Persons were sworn concerning the right of the Shorters to Freedom, if yea, on what occasion was   was it, what were their names, what did they depose, and were they People of Credit?

15th Have you any further knowledge concerning the right of the Petitioner or any of his Family to Freedom, if yea, relate it fully and freely?

G. Duvall J M Gant for Petioner

Charles Shorter
vs
Notley Young Esqr

Prince Georges County, Petition for Freedom.

The Deposition of sundry Persons, sworn and examined on the annexed Interrogatories in Charles County, by virtue of a rule of Court for the purpose made in this Cause on the part and behalf of the Petitioner

3

The Deposition of Mr John Lancaster Senr of Charles County aged about sixty years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith as follows, to wit.

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows not the Plaintiff nor the Defendant except to has seen Mr Young

Item To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing.

Item To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

I do hereby certify that the above Deposition was taken before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County on the 21st of August 1792 at the House of Thomas Crackles in Port Tobacco in the presence Haden Edwards Esqr on behalf of John M Gantt for the Petitioner and Philip B Key Esqr Atty for the Defendant.

Henry Barnes

The Deposition of the Revd Leonard Neale of Charles County aged about forty five years, being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangel of Almighty God deposeth and saith, as follows, to wit

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith. That I know the Defendant & have known him for about four or five years. As for the Petitioner I know nothing of him

Item. To the second Interrogatory the Deponent saith that I know nothing of the Petitioners mother.

Item. To the third Interrogatory the Deponent saith that I never knew the Petitioner's Grandmother.

I do hereby certify that the foregoing Deposition was taken before   before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County, on the 21st day of August 1792 at the House of Thomas Crackles in Port Tobacco, in the Presence of Haden Edwards on behalf of John M Gantt atty for the Petitioner, and Philip B Key Esqr Atty for the Defendant.

Henry Barnes.

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozer

Prince Georges County Court. Petition for Freedom

The Depositions of sundry Persons sworn and examined on the annexed Interrogatories in Charles County by virtue of a rule of Court for that purpose made in this cause on the part and behalf of the Petitioner.

5.

The Deposition of the John Lancaster Senr of Charles County aged about sixty years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposits and saith as follows, to wit

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith. That he doth not know the Plaintiff but that he hath known the Defendant Henry Rozer forty odd years.

Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he doth not know anything.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing

Item to the 4 Interrogatory the Deponent saith that he knows nothing. Item. To the 5th Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he never heard of her. Item to the 6 Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he has heard from Mr Ralph Neale of St Mary's County that there was a record of such marriage. Item to the 7th Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he knows nothing. Item To the 8th Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing. Item to the ninth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, that he knows nothing. Item To the tenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he knows nothing.

Item. To the eleventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he heard of some of the name living with Mr Anthony or Jeam[?] Neale, he is not certain which.

Item To the twelfth Interrogatory this Deponent saith he never heard her say any thing about it. Item To the thirteenth Interrogatory, this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing. Item To the fourteenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he never was present or knows anything about it.

Item  

Item. To the fifteenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he knows nothing

I do hereby certify, that the foregoing Deposition was taken before me the subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County in the 21st August 1792 at the House of Thomas Crackles in Port Tobo in the presence of Haden Edwards on behalf of John M Gantt atty for the Petitioner & Mr Henry Rozer

Henry Barnes.

The Deposition of the revd. Leonard Neale of Charles County aged about forty five years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith, to wit

Imprimis To the first Interrogatory this Deponant saith That I know Mr H Rozer & I know a Negro Boy called Basil by seeing him in waiting at the said H Rozers. These Parties I have known about nine years by personal knowledge. Item: To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That I do not know Basil's Mother.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith that I do not know Mary, or the Grandmother of the Petitioner. Item. To the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That I never did know Mary Shorter commonly called Mulatto Moll Item to the fifth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that I do not know, neither have I ever heard to the best of my knowledge any body say that the said Mulatto Moll was born of a white woman. Item To the sixth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that I neither know nor have heard to the best of my knowledge that Elizabeth Shorter was married to a Negro called little Robin neither did I ever know that the said Eliz. Shorter was the Property of William Roswald. Item. To the seventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith that, That I know not any thing of Eliz. Shorter Children as such neither do I know Eliz. Shorter herself.

Item. To the eighth Interrogatory this Deaponent saith, That I have heard something of the name of Moll Shorter but know not with whom she lived. I know nothing of Jane or Patty. Item. To the ninth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That I know neither Moll, Jane, nor Patty & of course know nothing of their children, as such.

Item. To the tenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That   That I neither know neither have I heard that Bazil Shorter or his mother or Grandmother were descended from a white woman. Item. To the eleventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith that I never knew, neither did I ever hear that any Negroe under the name of Short or Shorter was descended from a white woman. I have simply heard that the Negroes under that Denomination pretended to such a descent.

Item. To the twelfth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That I knew Ann Neale of Port Tobo. I never heard her say or insinuate that the Negroes called Shorters were Descendants from of a white woman. I have heard her say that Lucy a Negroe woman now belonging to me calling herself Short did formerly sue for her liberty in Charles County Court on that score, but that she was discarded by the Court as laying in a pretence, that was perfectly groundless. The above Ann Neale was my mother. Item, To the thirteenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, that I have simply heard that the Negroes calling themselves Shorters pretended to be Descendants of a white woman, but I neither know it to be the case, neither did I ever hear any body assert it to be so.

Item. To the fourteenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that I never was present when any Depositions were taken respecting the Negroes called Shorters.

Item. To the fifteenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That I have no knowledge whatever of any right that any of the Negroes called Shorters have to liberty.

I do hereby certify that the foregoing Deposition was taken before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County, at the House of Thomas Crackles in Portto on the 21st day of August 1792 in the Presence of both the Petitioner & Defendant.

Henry Barnes

7.

The Deposition of Mr Walter Hanson Senr of Charles County aged about eighty years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth, and saith as follows, to wit

Imprimus. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he has known Mr Rozer for several years but knows not the Petitioner. Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith. That he knows nothing of Linda the mother of   of the Petitioner. Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith, that he knows nothing. Item. To the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

Item. To the fifth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing. Item. To the sixth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

I do hereby certify that the foregoing Deposition was taken before me Henry Barnes one of the Justices of the peace for Charles Cy on the 23d day of August 1792 at the house of Walter Hanson Esqr in the presence of both the Petitioner and Defendant.

Henry Barnes

8.

The Deposition of Mr Leonard Boarman of Charles County aged about seventy seven years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith as follows to wit. Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he has known Mr Henry Rozer about 50 ys but knows nothing of the Petitioner. Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing. Item. To the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

Item. To the fifth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing.

Item. To the sixth Interrogatory, this Deponent saith, that he knows nothing

Charles County Sst. I hereby certify that the foregoing Deposition was this day taken before the subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid at House[?] the Deponant. Given under my hand this 24th day of August 1792.

Wm D Briscoe.

9.

The Deposition of Mrs Mary Boarman of Charles County aged about fifty two years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth, and saith as follows, to wit.

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith that she knows nothing.

Item. To the 2nd Interrogatory this Deponent saith that she knows nothing. Item. To the 3d Interrogatory this Deponent saith that she knows nothing. Item. To the fourth Interrogatory, This Deponent saith she knows nothing.

Charles County Sst I hereby certify that the above deposition was this day taken before the subscriber one of the Justices of the peace for the County aforesaid at the House of the Deponent in   in the said County. Given under my hand this 24th day of August 1792.

Wm D Briscoe

10.

The deposition of Samuel Collins of Charles County aged about fifty two years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith, to wit.

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he knows nothing. Item, To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing. Item, to the third Interrogatory, This Deponent saith, That he knows nothing. Item, To the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nothing. Item, To the fifth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, that he knows nothing. Item to the fourth interrogatory, this deponent saith, That he knows nothing. Item, To the fifth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he knows nor heard nothing of her. Item, To the sixth Interrogatory, This Deponent saith that he knows nothing. Item. To the seventh Interrogatory This Deponent saith, that he knows nothing.

Item, To the eighth Interrogatory, this Deponent saith, That he knows no more, than that there was one Jenny who belonged to Roswell Neale who had three children, one named Appy who afterwards belonged to Harry Neale son of sd Roswell Neale, another Lucy, who afterward belonged to William Neale son of said Roswell Neal, another named Betty who was sold to Jeames Mills by said Roswell Neale. He says he has has often heard that this Genny was entitled to Freedom, but remembers no particular person from whom he heard it.

Item. To the ninth Interrogatory, this Deponent saith That answd above.

Item to the tenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knows nothing.

Item. To the eleventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That he never heard she was descended from a white woman but that she was entitled to her Freedom, this he has heard about thirty years ago. Item. To the twelfth Interrogatory this Deponent saith, That heard her say nothing.

Charles County Sct I hereby certify that the above Deposition was this day taken before the subscriber one of the Justices of the peace for the County aforesaid at the House of the Deponent in the said County. Given under my hand this 24th day of August 1792.

Wm D. Briscoe

 

Charles Shorter
vs
Notley Young Esqr

Prince George County Court.

Petition for Freedom Petitioners Interrogatories

1st Do you know the Parties, the Petitioner and the Defendant, and how long have you known them?

2nd Do you know Caty the mother of the Petitioner, and how long have you known her?

3d Do you or did you know Mary the Grandmother of the Petitioner, and to whom did she belong?

4th Did you know Mary Shorter commonly called Mulatto Moll who lived with Anthony Neale (who died in Charles County many years ago) and did you know the said Mulatto Moll, when she lived with James Neale son of Anthony Neale and with whom did she afterwards live, and how long hath she been dead?

5th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that Mulatto Moll mentioned in the preceding Interrogatory, was the daughter of a white woman, if so, what was the name of the white woman, was it Elizabeth Shorter, or what was her name?

6th Do you know or have you heard and from whom that Elizabeth Shorter, a free white woman was married to a Negroe called little Robin formerly the Property of William Roswell St Mary's County, and that the said Elizabeth Shorter with her children were given by the said Roswell to Anthony Neale.

7th Do you know or have you heard who from whom, how many children the said Elizabeth Shorter had, what were their names, and with whom did they live and die, and when?

8th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that Elizabeth Shorter had a daughter named Moll, another named Jane or Jenny and another named Marthy, or Patty, if so with whom did they live and die, and how long have they been dead?

9th If you know Moll, Jane, and Patty, the children of Elizabeth Shorter, how many children had each or either of them what were their names, and with whom did they respectively live and die, and how long since?

10th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that the Petitioner Charles Shorter, or Caty his mother, or Mary his Grandmother is, or were descended from a white woman and what was her name?

 

11 Do you know or have you heard and from whom, that the Family of the Negroes, who called themselves Shorters, or Shorts or any, and which of them were descended from a white woman and what was her name, and with whom did you understand she lived?

12th Did you know Mrs Neale Widow of William Neale near Port Tobacco, if yea, did you ever hear her say any thing of the Shorters, and which of them, and did she say they were ascended from a white woman, and what was her name, and with whom did she live?

13th Do you know or have you heard, and from whom that the Negroes, or Mulattoes who called themselves Shorters, or any of them are descended from a white woman, and what was her name?

14 Were you ever present when Persons were sworn concerning the right of the Shorters to Freedom, if yea, on what occasion was it, what were their names, what did they depose and were they people of credit?

15 Have you any further knowledge concerning the right of the Petitioner, or any of his Family to Freedom, if yea, relate it fully and freely.

G. Duvall J M Gantt for Petitioner

The deposition of Mr William Gibson of St Mary's County aged about seventy two years being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth, and saith as follows, to wit

Imprimis. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he has seen the Defendant, but is not acquainted with him the Plaintiff he never saw.

Item. To the second Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he never knew Caty the mother of the Petitioner.

Item. To the third Interrogatory this deponent saith this deponent saith That he did not know Mary, the Grandmother of the Petitioner.

Item to the fourth Interrogatory this Deponent saith That he did not know Mary Shorter commonly called Mulatto Moll.

Item. To the fifth Interrogatory this Deponat saith, that he never heard of Mulatto Moll.

Item. To the sixth Interrogatory this Deponant saith that he did not know Elizabeth Shorter.

 

Item. To the seventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he did not know Elizabeth Shorter or any of her descendants.

Item. To the eighth Interrogatory this Deponent's answers are the same as to the seventh Interrogatory.

* Item. To the tenth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he did not know Charles Shorter, Caty his mother or Mary his Grandmother.

Item. To the eleventh Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he is not acquainted with one circumstance respecting it.

Item. To the twelfth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he did not know Mrrs Neale Widow of William Neale, that he has been often in her company, but never heard her say anything respecting the Shorts or Shorters.

Item. To the thirteenth Interrogatory this Deponent answers that he does not know that the Negroes or Mulattoes, who call themselves Shorters, or any of them and descend from a white woman.

Item to the 14th Interrogatory this Deponent saith he knows nothing respecting it.

Item. To the 15th Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he does not know any thing concerning the Petitioners or any of his Family to Freedom, and further this Deponent saith not.

Will[?] Gibson
his mark

* Item to the ninth Interrogatory this Deponent saith that he knew a Jane Short that lived with Mr Roswell Neale, and have under stood the way he came by her was from Anthony Neale, and that the said Jane Short was a mulattoe, and looked as if she descended from a white man or woman but does not know which, and this Deponent further saith he has heard the said Jane Short was of the Family of Shorts in Charles County.

Saint Mary's County Sst. Personally appeared before me the Subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid William Gibson of Saint Mary's County and after being duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God sayeth that his Answers to the foregoing Interrogatories are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the best of his knowledge and recollection.

 

Sworn to and signed Before me this 27th of August 1792.

Edmd Plowden.

George Shorter
against
Henry Neale

Petition for Freedom in the General Court.

Petitioners Interrogatories

1.Do you know the Parties in this suit and how long have you known them?

2. Do you or did you know the Mother of the Petitioner, if yea, what was her name, and with whom did she live?

3. Did you know the Grandmother of the Petitioner, or any and which of his Ancestors on the female side; if yea, what was the name of his Grandmother, or other Ancestor, and with whom did she or they live and die? relate your own knowledge and from whom you derive your Information.

4. Do you know that the Petitioner is descended of a free white woman; or have you heard that he was, and of whom did you hear so; relate fully and freely.

5. Do you know, or have you heard, and from whom, that the people who are now contending for their freedom, who call themselves Shorts, or Shorters, are descended from a free white woman, if yea what was her name, and where did she live, and die.

6. Did you know Anthony Neale who died in St Mary's County, sixty or seventy years ago.

7. Did you know Edward Neale, Roswell Neale, or Bennett Neale, Priest, sons of the said Anthony Neale, or did you know any of the sons or daughters of the said Anthony Neale; and which of them?

8. Did you know Elizabeth Shorter a white woman who formerly lived in the family of the aforesaid Anthony Neale, and after his death, with one of his sons.

9. Did you know or have you heard and from whom that the said Elizabeth Shorter had children by a slave of the said Anthony Neale; if yea, how many children had she, and what were their names, and what was the name of such slave

10. Did you know Moll, Jenny, or Patty, or which of them daughters of the said Elizabeth Shorter, if yea where were they born & in whose possession did they respectively die?

 

11. Did you know Mulatto Moll who belonged to Edward Neale, son of the aforesaid Anthony Neale, and who afterwards belonged to Henry Rozer of Prince Georges County; if yea have you understood, and from whom, that she was descended of a free white woman, & what was her name, and with whom did she live and die?

12. Did you know any of the sisters of Mulatto Moll; if yea what were their names, and with whom did they live and die, and how many children had each of them, and what were their names? relate fully and freely.

13. Have you any knowledge from hearsay or otherwise that the family of people who call themselves Shorts or Shorters are descended from a free white woman; if you have, relate it fully and freely; when it happened, and in whose presence, and from whom you derive your information?

14. Have you any further knowledge of the subject; if you have relate it fully and freely.

G Duvall for Pet

George Shorter
vs
Henry Neale

Petition for Freedom in the General Court.

The Deposition of William Gibson of St Mary's County aged seventy two years and upwards, being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, saith that he knows Mr Neale the Defendant very well & has known him ever since he was born; that he has seen George the Petitioner, but does not know much about him. Being asked if he knew George's mother, answers, he knew a woman named Appy who belonged to Henry Neale father of the Defendant who George says is his mother; he knew some of the children of Appy, one he thinks named Shadrack was removed to the back country; and one named he thinks Henry is dead. He further says that he knew a woman who went for the mother of Appy, who was called Jane Short, a small Mulatto woman, and belonged, when the Deponent first knew her to Mr Roswell Neale of Clements Bay; that Roswell Neale was father of Henry Neale who was Father of the Defendant, now present. Being asked what kind of hair Jane Short had, answers, it was on the curly order, but between the hair of a Negro & white person. That the said Jane Short died in the possession of Raphael Neale son of Roswell at a place called Tomacokin, that she said Jane Short   Short has been dead he thinks, about twenty eight, twenty nine, or thirty years; Being asked if he knew how Jane Short came into the possession of Roswell Neale, answers, he does not, except from her, who said he got her from his Father, and that he never heard any other person say that Roswell Neale received her from his Father; that the said Jane Short was a doctress and used to cure the flux; Being asked if he knew any of the brothers of Roswell Neale, answers, he did know two Charles Neale and Bennett Neale; and he has understood that he had other brothers, but the Deponent never saw them; he has understood that he had one named Raphael and one named Henry. Being asked if he knew the Father of Roswell Neale, answers, he did not, but has been informed his name was Anthony Neale. Being asked if he knew the mother of Jane Short, answers he did not, and he never heard any person say, they did not know her, and he believes she was dead before his remembrance. That he was acquainted with Roswell Neale and his sons, ever since he could remember, that his the Deponents father Land was not above half a mile or three quarters of a mile distant from Mr Neale's Land & their dwelling houses not exceeding two mile or two miles & a half Being asked if he ever heard from Roswell Neale or any other person if the mother of Jane Short was a free woman, answers he never did hear whether she was free, or white, or any thing about her; but has always understood that Jane Short was the slave of Roswell Neale, and that he first knew her about sixty years ago. That she was an old woman when he first knew & was shrunk with Age, that he never heard her called Jane Shorter, until they petitioned. Being asked if he had any reason for believing she was a slave, other than seeing her with Mr Neale's Slaves, answers, he had; that he has seen her ordered and commanded by Mr Neale & Mrs Neale, & they used to receive what she earned by her labour; that he knew all the Children of Jane Short, six in number: her eldest son was named Edward and he died in possession of Roswell Neale; her second son named Charles was given by Roswell Neale to his son Raphael, and he died in his possession; her third son James died in possession of the Executors of Roswell Neale. Her fourth child was named Lucy, and Mr Roswell Neale gave her to his son William Neale near Port Tobacco. The fifth   fifth was named Appy & he gave her to his son Henry father of the Defendant; the sixth named Elizabeth, was sold by Roswell Neale, or one of his sons to James Mills on Wiccomico River in St. Mary's County. That he knew none of the sisters of Jane Short, and he dont recollect he ever heard her say she had any, nor did he ever hear any other person say so Being asked if he knew whom Mr Henry Rozer married, answer he knew whom Mr Henry Rozer married, answers he has understood that he married a daughter of Edward Neale in Charles County and he has been informed so, in Mr Roswell Neales family, and the Deponent married a daughter of Roswell Neale about forty six or forty seven years ago; that the aforesaid Edward Neale he has been informed was a brother, or half brother of Roswell Neale. That the Deponent never owned any of the Family of Jane Short, Mr Neale gave him Negroes of another family. Being asked how many children Roswell Neale had, answers seven sons, (Thomas who died a child) James, Raphael, Bennet, and Jeremiah also William and Henry by his first wife, & three daughters Anne, Mary, and Elizabeth, the first of whom the Deponent married Bennett Wheeler married Mary; and Thomas Mattingly married Elizabeth. Being asked if he knew any of the children of Charles Neale brother of Roswell Neale, answers, he did, to wit, a daughter, who married Henry Sewell & he thinks her name was Mary; he has also seen Raphael Neale & Joseph Neale at Mr Sewells and understood that they were brothers of Mrs Sewells. Being asked if he knew any of the children of Raphael Neale brother of Roswell Neale, answers he has seen some reputed to be the daughters of Raphael Neale who one named Mary who thinks he married Thomas Taney on Patuxent. One named Henny who married Basil Brook, one named Monica who married Edward Digges, and another named Ann who married James Thompson. Being asked if he knew of any of the children of Edward Neale, answers, he did not; but has understood that Mr Henry Rozer married one of his daughters; and that he had another daughter who married a Gentleman on the Eastern Shore, but does not remember to have heard his name. Being asked if he knows a woman by the name of Elizabeth Daily in St Mary's County, answers he knows a woman who goes by that name, that her first name was Elizabeth Pilbrew. Being asked if he knows her age, answers he does not, but she is not so old as the Deponent; when the Deponent first knew her he thinks he was about thirteen years old, and she appeared then to be about seven or eight; that he knows George Bullock of St. Mary's County & has known him ever since he was a small boy. Being asked his age answers   age answers, he cannot say, but thinks that the Deponent is about two or three years older than her. Being asked if he knows that Elizabeth Daily and George Bullock were acquainted when they were children, answers, he cannot say, but they lived within two or three miles of each other. Being asked, if he even heard of a marriage, between a white woman & a Negro man, in the Neale family, answers he does not know he ever did. The Deponent also saith, that about three years before he was married to one of the daughters of Roswell Neale, he lived with the said Roswell Neale as his overseer. Being asked if he ever knew any white people in the St Mary's County of the name of Shorter, answers, he did not, nor did he ever hear of any people of that name, or of the name of Short, except the petitioning family and that ever since he knew of Jenny Short. Being asked how old Jenny Short was, when he first knew her about sixty years ago answers, That She was an old woman past children bearing, and bent with age at that time. He further saith, that he has lived all his life in the neighbourhood of Roswell Neale and his Family. Being asked if any white woman of the name of Elizabeth Short or Shorter at any time since his remembrance lived in the family of Roswell Neale, answers, that he never knew any such person, and the thinks if any such Person had lived in the Family, he must have known it. Being asked if he ever heard or was informed by any person that any mulatto or white woman of the name of Elizabeth Short or Shorter at any time lived in the family of Anthony Neale father, of Roswell Neale, answereth, that he never did, nor did he even hear of any of the Negroes, or slaves in the Neale family that were descended from any free white woman, before Basil Shorter one of the Petitioners came down with Interrogatories to this Deponent. This deponent further saith the knew a white woman of the name of Mary Innes who lived in Roswell Neale's family about fifty years ago who had Mulatto Bastard Children, and the present Descendants of that woman are now free persons and some of them residing in Saint Marys County that her children were small when he first knew them, two of them died and the third was purchased by the Deponent as a servant till she was 31 year old, and is now free residing at the head of St Clements Bay and saith that he is certain that if any such woman as Elizabeth Shorter had lived in the family of Roswell Neale he must have heard or known of it. This Deponent saith that Elizabeth Daily before alluded to in this deposition was a woman of bad character and of no repute, that nobody relied upon anything she said in the settlement This Deponent further saith that he knew the father and mother of said Elizabeth Dailey, that her Father died before she was a married woman   woman but her mother lived until said Elizabeth was upwards of thirty years of age. This Deponent well remembers that said Elizabeth was twice married in the life time of her mother and that she lived with her mother five years after the said Elizabeth's second Husband had run away from the settlement. This Deponent saith that for many years before the time of Roswell Neale's death, his Mill at Tomocohen was kept and tended by Ned Short son of Jenny Short, and that old Jenny Short since the time this Deponent first knew her was infirm and old, and this deponent believes she was incapable of tending said Mill. That Roswell Neale has been dead about forty five or forty six years, that Ned Short before mentioned died four or five years before Roswell Neale, and after the death of a Ned Short, the Mill was kept by Alice Handley for two or three years, and after that a negro fellow of Roswell Neale's kept and tended said Mill till she blew up, and this deponent knew the beginning and ending of said Mill and knew or heard of any other persons as Millers to her. The Deponent further saith that he knows a man of the name of Baptist, or John Baptist Anderson who was born in St Mary's County on a place between the Plantation of this Deponent's Father and that of Mr Roswell Neale, That said Anderson must be between fifty and sixty years old at this time, and this Deponent remembers the time when Anderson was born. That this Deponent knew Alice Carroll the mother of Anderson very well; that said Anderson must be between fifty and sixty years old at this time, and this Deponent remembers the time when Anderson was born. That this Deponent knew Alice Carroll the mother of Anderson very well; that said Anderson was a bastard child of hers and took the name of Anderson because his mother was afterwards married to a man of that name, that the said Baptist or John Baptist Anderson was the reputed son Ned Short who kept Mr Neale's Mill and this was generally reported and believed in the neighbourhood and this Deponent has heard that the said Alice never swore this child to any person as she did a second bastard child that was white. This Deponent further saith that said Baptist or John Baptist Anderson shewed by his colour that he was of a mixed breed, being yellow complexioned. This deponent saith that said Anderson lived in Saint Mary's County till he was about twenty five years of age and generally bore a very bad character such as sheep steeling House breaking and Pocket picking   picking, and clear of him murder, and nothing was too bad for him. That he was a man of no kind of Credit or trust and nobody would believe what he said. That the said Anderson stole a canoe and run off to Virginia about 30 years past, and this Deponent believes he has not since returned to St Mary's County. That this Deponent has heard that said Anderson kept the Mill of Colonel Tuberville in Virginia opposite to St Mary's, and that many of this Deponents Neighbours have told him they have seen said Anderson in Virginia and that he is the same person described in this deposition. Sworn before the subscriber this 19 May 1794.

Allen Quynn.

P.B. Key. G Duvall

George Shorter
vs
Henry Neale

Petition for Freedom in the General Court

Petitioners Interrogatories.

1st Do you know the parties in this cause & how long have you known them?

2nd Did you know Appy the mother of the Petitioner & how long did you know her?

3d Did you know Jane Short, or Jane Shorter a Mulatto woman who formerly lived with Roswell Neale of St Mary's County: if yea, what was her complexion, what sort of hair had she & how long has she been dead?

4th Do you know how Roswell Neale came by the possession of the said woman named June Shorter, or have your heard & from whom how he came by the possession of her?

5th Do you know or have you understood and from whom how many brothers Roswell Neale had, and what were their names?

6th Do you know, or have you understood and from whom who was the father of Roswell Neale & what was his name?

7th Do you know or have you understood and from whom that Jane Shorter before mentioned, was descended from a white woman or a free woman, if yea, when did such conversation happen, and by whom? relate fully your knowledge.

8th Do you know or have you understood and from whom how many children the mother of Jane Shorter had, and what were their names? relate fully your knowledge?

9th Do you know, or have you understood, and from whom how many children Jane Shorter had, if yea what were their names & with whom did they live and die.

10. Did you know a mulatto woman who lived with John Lancaster   Lancaster late of Charles County deceased by the name of Patty Shorter: if yea how many children had she that you know or have been informed?

11 Did you know Henry Rozer of Prince George's County: if yea whom did he marry?

12. Did you know a Mulatto Woman owned by Mr Rozer called Moll Shorter or Moll Short, if yea, do you know or have you understood and from whom how many children she has & what were their names?

13. Do you know or have you understood & from whom that the Petitioner or any of his family or those stiling themselves Shorts or Shorters are descended from a white woman or a free woman & what was her name?

G Duvall for Petitioner
Philip B Key for Defedt

14. Did you know of your own knowledge, or have you been informed and by whom that a white woman named Elizabeth Short or Elizabeth Shorter ever lived in the family of Anthony Neale, or Roswell Neale or either and which of them?

15. Did you know of your own knowledge, or have you been informed at any time, when & by whom that the said Elizabeth Shorter or Short intermarried with a Negro Man the Slave of Anthony Neale or Roswell Neale?

16th Do you know of your own knowledge or have you been informed by whom & when, that any persons (and state their names and sexes) were children born of the said Elizabeth Short or Shorter after her marriage with a slave, and in whose possession they have since continued, and where they have respectively resided

Philip B Key for Defts

Saint Mary's County Sst May 24th 1794. Then appeared before me the Subscriber Francis Johnston and after being duly sworn on the foregoing Interrogatories deposits as followeth, to wit.

To the 1st I have known Henry Neale ever since he was a child but does not know George Shorter.

2. He never knew Appy who is said to be the mother of George

3d He has seen a Woman called Jenny Short who is said to be the mother of George who belonged to Roswell Neale she was of a yellow complexion with curly hair, thinks she has been upward of thirty years.

4th He does not know how Roswell Neale came by the possession of the said Woman called Jane Shorter

 

5th He does not know how many Brothers Roswell Neale had; He knew Bennett Neale who he as has understood was a brother to Roswell.

6th He did not know nor has he been informed who was the father of Roswell Neale.

7th He does not know, nor has he understood that Jane Short descended from a free or white woman.

8th He does not know, nor has remembered anything about them?

9th The same answer as the foregoing. 10th Answer, He did not know such a woman. 11th Answer, He did not know him nor the woman he married. 12th Answer, He did not know such a woman as Moll Short or Shorter. 13th Answer He never knew the Petitioner, or has heard that he or any of his family descended from a free white woman. 14th Answer, He never knew such a woman as Elizabeth Short or Shorter in any way.

15th Answer, He has no knowledge of any such marriage.

16th Answer, He can give no Information about them.

The above Answers was the taken on oath before me the day and year above mentioned.

E Plowden

George Shorter
vs
Henry Neale

Petition for Freedom in the General Court

Petitioners Interrogatories

1. Do you know the parties in the cause & how long have you known them?

2. Did you know Appy the mother of the Petitioner, and how long have you known her? 3d Did you know Jane Short or Jane Shorter a mulatto woman who formerly lived with Roswell Neale of St Mary's County; if yea, what was her complexion, what sort of hair had she, and how long has she been dead? 4. Do you know how Roswell Neale came by the possession of the said woman named Jane Shorter; or have you heard and from whom how he came by possession of her? 5. Do you know or have you understood and from whom, how many brothers Roswell Neale had, and what were their names? 6. Do you know or have you understood and from whom, who was the Father of Roswell Neale, and what was his name? 7. Do you know, or have you understood and from whom that Jane Shorter before mentioned was descended from a white woman, or a free woman; if yea when did such conversation happen and by whom? relate fully your knowledge.

 

8. Do you know or have you understood and from whom how many children the mother of Jane Shorter had, & what were their names, relate fully your knowledge.

9. Do you know or have you understood, and from whom how many children Jane Shorter had; if yea, what was were their names, & with whom did they live and die? 10. Did you know a mulatto woman who lived with John Lancaster late of Charles County deceased by the name of Patty Shorter; if yea, how many children had she that you know or have been informed. 11. Did you know Henry Rozer of Prince George's County; if yea, whom did he marry? 12. Did you know a mulatto woman owned by Mr Rozer called Mol Shorter or Mol Short; if yea, do you know or have you understood and from whom, how many children she had & what were their names? 13. Do you know or have you understood, & from whom that the Petitioner, or any of his family, or those stiling themselves Shorts or Shorters are descended from a white or a free woman & what was her name?

G Duvall for Petrs.
Philip B key for Defdts

14. Did you know of your own knowledge, or have you been informed, and by whom that a white woman named Elizabeth Short, or Elizabeth Shorter ever lived in the family of Anthony Neale or Roswell Neale, or either, and which of them? 15. Did you know of your own knowledge, or have you been informed at any time, when and by whom that the said Elizabeth Shorter or Short intermarried with a Negroe man,the slave of Anthony Neale or of Roswell Neale? 16. Do you know of your own knowledge, or have you been informed, by whom, and when, that any persons (and state their names and sexes) were children born of the said Elizabeth Short, or Shorter after her marriage with a slave, and in whose possession they have since continued, and where they have respectively resided?

Philip B Key for Defdt

Mary Bradburn of St Mary's County aged nearly 50 years being sworn on the annexed Interrogatories on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith as follows. To the 1st That she does not know George Shorter, but has known Henry Neale ever since he was a boy. 2nd I never knew Appy at all. 3d I knew Jane Short or Jane Shorter she was a tolerably bright Mulatto though not very bright, her was like all other Mulattoes, I believe. I cannot tell how long she has been dead.   4th I do not know how Roswell Neale came by her, nor have I ever heard, he had possession of Jane Shorter befores my remembrance I think. 5th Roswell Neale had only four brothers, Bennett Ralph, Harry, & Jeremiah, that I ever knew or heard of 6th I never understood who was the father of Roswell Neale nor did I ever hear his name. 7th I dont know & never heard that Jane Shorter was descended from a free or white woman. 8th I dont know and never heard how many children Jane Shorter's mother had. 9th I never knew or heard of Jane Shorter's having more than one child Billy who lived and died with Ralph Neale. 10th I never knew or heard of Patty Shorter, nor anything about her 11th I never knew nor heard of Henry Rozer. 12th I never knew nor heard any thing of Moll Shorter. 13th I have heard my mother say that a woman named Shorter was a free white woman but never heard her say with whom she lived, or that she was the mother of Jane Shorter nor do I know or did I ever hear that any who stile themselves Shorts or Shorters were descended from them. 14th I never knew nor did I ever hear any thing about Elizabeth Shorter or Elizabeth Short. Sworn to this 22d day of May 1794 before the subscriber one of the Justices of St. Mary's County

Jno. Smith.

George Bullock of St. Mary's County aged about 72 years being sworn on the annexed Interrogatories on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth & saith as follows.

To the 1st That he does not know George Shorter but has known Henry Neale about forty years. 2nd He knew Appy a woman who belonged to Mr Henry Neale's Father but never knew does not know & never heard that she was the mother to the Petr. 3d He thinks he has seen Jane Short, she was a Mulatto woman, he does not know what sort of hair she had nor how long she has been dead. 4th He does not know nor has he ever heard how Roswell Neale came by the possession of the said woman. 5th He never knew nor did he ever hear how many brothers Roswell Neale had, in short he never heard that he had any brothers. 6th He does not know nor has he ever heard who was the father of Roswell Neale. 7th He always considered Jane Shorter as a slave and never heard anyone say, that she was descended from a free or white woman. 8th He does not know nor has he ever heard how many children the mother of Jane Shorter had, nor did he ever hear or know of her having any other child besides Jane Shorter nor did he know the mother of Jane Shorter. 9th He does not know nor did he ever hear that Jane Shorter had any children. 10th He did not know any Mulatto woman by the name of Patty Shorter he has   has seen but did not know John Lancaster himself. 11th He never knew Henry Rozer of Prince George's County. 12th He knew no woman that belonged to Mr Rozer. 13th He never heard nor does he know that the Petitioner or any of his family or those stiling themselves Shorts or Shorter are descended from a free or white woman nor did he ever hear that any of them claimed their freedom till since they have petitioned. 14th 15th & 16th That he never knew or heard of Elizabeth Short or Elizabeth Shorter or any thing respecting her. Sworn to this 22nd day of May 1794 before the subscriber one of the Justices of St. Mary's County.

Jno Smith

George Shorter
vs
Henry Neale

Clement Gardiner (aged sixty one years) of Saint Mary's County, being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that he hath been personally acquainted with a woman who was called Betty Brown (and who is the same woman he believes now called Elizabeth Daily, and who was the reputed daughter of Elizabeth Pillbrow) for more than forty years, that she generally bore an infamous, bad character, and was reputed a woman of little or no veracity, and not to be believed and one of the greatest Lyars. That ever since this deponent first knew her she lived in the same neighbourhood not far from him, that this Deponent has understood the said Betty has of late years been in the Poor House of St. Mary's County. That he knew the Father of the Defendant, his name was Henry Neale, that he has seen the Petitioner, but never until a few years ago. Being asked if he knew Appy the mother of George says he did not but has heard of a woman of that name belonging to Henry Neale. He has seen Roswell Neale when he was a small boy, and he was the reputed Grandfather of the Defendant; that when he was a boy he knew Jenny Shorter small woman who lived with Raphael Neale, son of Roswell Neale; Being asked if he ever heard who was the mother of Jenny Short, answers he did not. Being asked if he knew any of the Children of Jenny, answers he did know a man named Charles who was said to be her son, he lived with Raphael Neale deceased; that he knew of no other child that the said Jenny had. And that the should not have remembered the said Jenny but that it was said she was a witch and appeared to be doubled with age when he was a boy, that he knew Elizabeth Dailey's mother and that she was alive about forty five years ago and has understood from   from general reputation that the said Elizabeth Dailey had been married twice before her mother died, that he has from his infancy known Wm Gibson son of Jno and that he has always supported a fair and unblemished character as a man of veracity. Being asked how old he thinks Betty Daily was when he first knew her, answers she might be thirteen or fourteen years; being asked how old he was when he first knew her answers, he thinks he might be twelve or thirteen years old. Being asked from whom he understood that Charles beforementioned was a son of Jenny Shorter, answers, from his Uncle John Mason's negroes & not from any other person. Being asked what was the General Character of Betty Dailey, answers that her character was bad, few people believed what she said, but was reputed to be a good hireling.

Allen Quynn.

Admitted to be read in Evidence. G Duvall for Petr W Dorsey for Defts

George Shorter
against
Henry Neale

Nehemiah Herbert Blackstone of Saint Mary's County aged about forty four years deposeth and saith that he is well acquainted with Elizabeth Brown who he understands is since called by the name of Elizabeth Dailey and the has always understood that she was deserving of little Credit and infamous so far as respected her veracity and truth and he further deposeth that the said Elizabeth Brown some years ago was generally considered as a Lunatic and he has understood that she has been confined as being a mad woman, he saith that he has known her for about thirty years but she has been seven or eight years out of his neighbourhood. Being asked if he was ever present when she was sworn answered he was not. That she is generally believed not to speak the truth, that People would not believe any thing she said unless they knew otherwise it was true. He further saith that the said Elizabeth Brown lived on a Plantation of his for two or three years and that he was well acquainted with her during that time and that he had a fair opportunity of knowing her Character. Being asked if he is acquainted with William Gibson of Saint Mary's County, answers that he is, and that the said William Gibson has always been esteemed a man of fair character and deserving of credit and that he never heard the veracity of the said William Gibson impeached. He further saith that he has always understood in his neighbourhood that the said Elizabeth Brown was married before her mother died.

Allen Quynn

Admitted to be read in evidence G Duvall for Petrs
Wm Dorsey for Deft.

 

George Shorter
against
Henry Neale

Peto for Freedom in the General Court

The deposition of Elizabeth Daily of St Mary's County being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, saith that she knows the Petitioner George Shorter who is now present and she knows the Defendant Henry Neale and knew his father. That she also knew Appy (the mother of the said George) who has been dead many years, she did belong to Henry Neale father of the defendant; that she also knew Jenny Shorter the mother of Appy aforesaid; the said Jenny was a small Mulatto woman and belonged to Roswell Neale when this Deponent first knew her, and she afterwards belonged to his Son Raphael Neale, and she thinks she died at Raphael Neale's that this Deponent knew her the said Jenny Shorter from the time she the Deponent was about nine or ten years old, and she was commonly called Jenny Shorter; and this deponent knew and well remembers, a white woman named Elizabeth Shorter who lived with the aforesaid Roswell Neale in St Mary's County near St Clement's bay, which said Elizabeth Shorter was an old woman when this deponent was a Girl; that she has seen the said Elizabeth Shorter who she understood was an English Woman from People whom she has heard talk about her, and she has heard many people talk about her and she further saith that the aforesaid Jenny Shorter was commonly reputed to be the daughter of the aforesaid Elizabeth Shorter and she never in her life heard it contradicted, and she has understood that the said Elizabeth Shorter was held as a slave on account of her having children by a negro slave. Being asked if she ever heard that the said Elizabeth Shorter was married to a Negro slave, answers she never did. Being asked if she knew any of the children of the said Elizabeth Shorter besides Jenny Shorter answers she did not; but that she knew a son of Jenny Shorter named Ned, a brother to Appy; and Jenny had another daughter, but this Deponent has forgot her name she further saith that the aforesaid Jenny Shorter waited on the deponent's brother Ephraim Pilbrew when he was on his death bed, and she thinks she has been dead upwards of twenty years The deponent being asked how old she is, answers, that she does not know, that her father and mother died when she was young but she does not know but one or two white persons in St Mary's County as old as herself; that old George Bullock of St Mary's County is a little more than two years older than herself; and she has always understood that his brother James Bullock & the deponent were born in the same month; that she knew them both very well and they   they were all children together; she further saith that the said Jenny Shorter kept and managed a Mill called Tomackskin Mill for said Neale near St Clement's bay. Being asked if she knew any other of the children or descendants of Jenny Shorter, answers, she does not. Being asked if Elizabeth Shorter lived and died as a servant or slave answers, she has heard people say she died before her time of servitude was out. The Deponent says she is a Pauper and lives in the Poor House of St Mary's County. This Deponent knew Roswell Neale, and one of his daughters was married to Wm Gibson of St Mary's and another to a Mr Wheeler. This Deponent knew Roswell Neale's sons who were James Bennett and Jerry, and she remembers no more of more of them. Sworn to this 10th day of October 1793 Before John Randall

George Shorter
vs
Henry Neale

Petition for Freedom in the General Court.

Raphael Boarman of Charles County aged about forty seven years being duly sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God deposeth and saith as follows; Being asked if he is interested in this cause, answers, that he was left Joint Executor with his brother John Hoskins Boarman of his mother's Estate, that by her Will she left a Negro Girl named Nanny the reputed daughter of Jenny Shorter who has petitioned against Eleanor Bradford, to the daughter of the deponent named Anne Wharton Boarman, an infant; that the deponent declined acting as one of the Executors; that nonetheless a Petition was filed in the General Court against him in the name of Nanny Shorter, but the deponent does not claim any right or title to the said Nanny, which said Nanny was parted with & delivered before any summons was served on him the deponent. That he does not know George Shorter who has petitioned against Henry Neale, but knows the defendant and has known him upwards of twenty years. That he does not know the Mother of George, nor Grandmother, nor did he ever know Jenny Shorter who formerly belonged to Roswell Neale. That he knows Jenny Shorter who has petitioned against Eleanor Bradford ever since he knew himself, which said Jenny is now present; and he has known Terry now present who has petitioned against Mrs Chunn a great many years That he knew Jenny who belonged to the Deponent's Father when the deponent was born, that his father got her by his mother, who was Mary Anne Hoskins before her marriage that his mother's mother was one of the Neale family as he has understood; Being asked if he knew or has heard what her father's name was answers, he knows not, but thinks it was Raphael Neale That said Terry when he first knew her belonged to Basil Brooke that   that Basil Brooke married Henny Neale Aunt to the mother of the deponent. Being asked how Mrs Chunn came by Terry, answers that he supposes Mrs Chunn bought her of Raphael Neale son of the aforesaid Basil and Henny Brooke. Being asked if he knew the mother of Jenny, answers he did. her name was Nell; being asked if he knows to whom Nell belonged when he first knew her, answers to his Grandmother Neale, or Mrs Taney, who was sister to Henny Brooke aforesaid as he always understood. Being asked, if he has heard his mother or any other Person say that Terry or Jenny aforesaid was descended from a white woman, answers, that he has heard his sister Mary Ann Boarman say that Jenny asked her mother if she was not the offspring of Lisa Paine, or words to that effect; but does not recollect what the answer was; and that he never heard any person say that Terry or Jenny was descended from a white person woman. That the aforesaid Jenny and Terry are sisters and daughters of Nell aforesaid Being asked if he ever heard & from whom that there was a woman by the name of Shorter who lived in the Neale family answers, he never did; but that he has heard that there was a record of a marriage, but does not recollect to have heard between whom. Sworn to this before me this 29th day of May 1794.

J. Bullen

The deposition of Elizabeth Neale aged sixty nine years or thereabouts being duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and sayeth that about forty one years agoe she this deponent became acquainted with an old Negroe woman known by the name of Appy then the property of Henry Neale since deceased which she this deponent has heard say was the mother of a fellow by the name of George (who now belongs to Capn Henry Neale and has petitioned the General Court for freedom by the name of George Shorter, and who has summoned this deponent, and she this deponent further says she never heard the said Appy called by any second name, and that she never heard the said Appy of the name of Shorter until about the time of the Butler's getting free, and further sayeth not.

Elizabeth Neale

Sworn to and signed before me this 27th day May 1793
E Plowden.

Robert Shorter
vs
Mary Neale

Petition for freedom in the General Court.

Petitioners Interrogatories

1. Do you know the Parties in this suit, and how long have you known them?

 

2. Do you know or have you understood and from whom, that the Petitioner or any of the People of the family who stile themselves Shorts or Shorters, are descended from a white woman; if yea, what was her name, & with whom have you understood she lived or died. 3d Did you know Edward Neale son of Anthony Neale of St Mary's County deceased or Roswell Neale son of the said Anthony or any and which of the children of the said Anthony Neale, if yea where did they reside and die respectively? 4 Did you know Mulatto Mary who formerly belonged to Edward Neale son of Anthony Neale, and who afterwards died in the possession of Henry Rozer who intermarried with a daughter of said Edward Neale. If yea, did you at any time heretofore understand or hear, and from whom, that the said Mary was descended from a white woman, and what was her name? 5. Did you know or have you heard, and from whom that a white woman by the name of Elizabeth Shorter lived in the family of Anthony Neale aforesaid, and after his death in the family of one of his sons & with which of them did she live that you have heard? 6. Have you heard or understood that any of the people now called Shorts or Shorters were descended of a white woman & that they were held in consequence of her Intermarriage with a Negro; if yea with whose Negroe did she intermarry, and what was his name? 7. Do you know anything by hearsay or otherwise of the right of the family of the Shorts or Shorters to freedom by reason of their descent from a white woman; if yea, relate it fully, and freely.

G Duvall for Petr.

James Neale of Charles County aged sixty one years, being sworn on the 17th May 1793, on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God on the foregoing Interrogatories to the 1st answers, that he knew Mary Neale daughter of Raphael Neale, which Mary is now the wife of Robert Sims but does not know, that he knows the Petitioner. To the 2nd he answers and saith that he has heard but does not know of whom, that the family claimed their Freedom from a white woman at the time they petitioned at Port Tobacco; he remembers there was a talk of their claiming it at Port Tobacco, but it was thrown out of Court, and he does not know how they claimed it. To the 3d He answers that he knew Bennett Neale (Priest) son of Anthony Neale, and he thinks he has seen Roswell Neale Anthony's son, but is not certain and he thinks Bennett Neale died at Mr Slighs where Edmund Plowden now lives; the   the others he did not know. To the 4th answers he did not know Mary nor did he ever hear she was descended from a white woman. To the 5th He answers that he has not heard that there was such a woman in the family of Anthony Neale; he has heard but he does not know from whom that Bennet Neale before mentioned had said that there was a mulatto woman in the family of his brother Edward of the name of Jenny. To the 6th He answers that he has not heard so but from the Petitioners. To the 7th he answers he knows nothing of their right to Freedom but has heard from them only of their right, and further saith not.

James Neale

Sworn before J. Bullen

The deposition of William Simms of Charles County aged eighty three years or thereabouts being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, deposeith and saith, that when he was a lad he knew a woman by the name of Betty Short and he has seen her twice or oftener at his fathers who then lived near Zachiah Swamp in Charles County; that the said Betty Short was a white woman and it was generally understood was not a Country Born woman, but from what Country she came he has forgot; he remembers very well to have seen her playing at ball at his fathers with some Girls and boys that she would catch the ball in her Apron and what makes the deponent recollect her now strongly, he remembers that in taking hold of her Apron to catch the ball she pulled up her Petticoat with her Apron and he saw above her knees and he remembers to have seen her at old Nathaniel Suite's or at Justinian Burche's or at both those places. Being asked how old she appeared to be at that time, answers he cannot say, it has been so long ago, but she was a woman and he thinks was about thirty or forty years old, and he remembers to have heard it said that she lived with a Mr. Neale in Cob Neck in Charles County. Being asked if he knew any of her children answers, he did not, but has heart it said in the Neighbourhood that she had two or three children. Being asked whether her name was Short or Shorter, answers, they used to call her Betty Short, and he does not remember that she was called Shorter and she did not appear to have any stain of Mulatto in her.

William Simmes
his W mark

Sworn to this 9th day of October 1792 before the subscriber one of the Justices of Anne Arundel County. Allen Quynn.

To be read in evidence at the trial. Philip B Key. G Duvall

 

Charles County to wit. On the twenty sixth day of April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety four the following depositions were made and sworn to before the subscriber one of the Justices of the peace for Charles County aforesaid in pursuance of the above order from the General Court in the presence of the Plaintiff and Defendant after due notice having been given to the Plaintiff by the Defendant John Lancaster Senior of Charles County aged sixty two years or thereabouts begin first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that he well knows Negro Clem the Pertitioner that he is the son as he this Deponent has always been informed of a Negro woman named Jane who was formerly the slave of Mrs Mary Ann Boarman, but now the property of Mrs Eleanor Bradford, that he this deponent also knew Nell the Mother of Jane who was when this deponent first knew her the slave of Mary Neale the widow of Raphael Neale of Charles County, that he also knew Patt the mother of Nell and that she Patt was given to Captain John Lancaster the father of this deponent by the said Raphael Neale when he the said Capt John Lancaster married the daughter of the said Raphael Neale as this deponent has been informed and that the said Negro Patt was the slave of said Captn John Lancaster when she died; that he this deponent never heard that Patt or any of her descendants called themselves Shorter or had any claim to their freedom until the Butlers first petitioned for their freedom, when he heard, he believes from some Negroes, that the children of Patt were as much intitled to their freedom as the Butlers. Being interrogated by the defendant James Neale. 1st Do you recollect the colour or complexion of the before mentioned Patt? this Deponent answers that he does and that she was a dark Molatto. 2nd Was Patt always held and considered as a slave? answers, she was. 3d How long has it been since the death of Patt? answers about fifty years. 4th How old was Patt when she died? answers He does not know but thinks she must have been verry old. Being asked by the Petitioner Clement did you know the mother of Patt? this deponent answers that he did not and further this deponent saith not.

John Lancaster Senr

Taken and sworn to before me Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

 

The deposition of Mary Lancaster aged sixty five years or thereabouts being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she well knows the Petitioner Clement that she knew Jane the mother of Clem, she knew Nell the mother of Jane and Patt the mother of Nell, that Patt when this deponent knew her was the slave of Captn John Lancaster deceased, being interrogated by the defendant James Neale 1st Do you recollect the colour and complexion of Patt, this deponent answers that she does and that the said Patt was a dark Mulatto. 2nd Did you ever hear that Patt was a descendant from a white or free woman, answer, she never did. 3d Was Patt always held and considered as a slave, answers she was. 4. Did you ever hear Patt assert her claim to Freedom, answer, she never did. Being asked by the Petitioner if she this Deponent knew who was the mother of Patt, answer she does not, and farther this deponent saith not

Mary Lancaster
her m mark

Taken and sworn before Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

The Deposition of Joseph Lancaster aged fifty five years or thereabouts being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of amighty God deposeth and saith that he knows Negro Clement the Petitioner that he knew Nell who was the mother of Jane who this deponent has been informed is the mother of the Petitioner Clement, that he knew Patt who this deponent has always heard was the mother of Nell and that the said Patt when this deponent knew her was the slave of Captn John Lancaster this deponents father. Being interrogated by the defendant James Neale, 1st Do you recollect the colour or complexion of Negro Patt, this deponent answers he does and that she was a dark Mulatto. 2nd Did you ever hear that Part was descended from a free woman, answer that he never did until a few years ago when he heard one of her Grand Children say that the said Patt was descended from a white woman. 3d Was Patt always held and considered as a slave, answer she was. 4th Did you ever hear Patt or Nell the daughter of Patt say that they or either of them was entitled to Freedom, answer he did not. 5th How old was Patt when you knew her, answer he believes she must have been sixty or seventy years old. Being asked by the Petitioner if he knew the mother of Patt answer He did not, and farther this deponent saith not.

Joseph Lancaster

Taken and sworn before Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

The deposition of Teresa Lancaster aged fifty five years or thereabouts being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that she knows Negro Clement the Petitioner that she knew   knew Nell who was the mother of Jane who this deponent has been informed is the mother of the Petitioner Clement, that she knew Patt when she this deponent was verry young, and that she has always heard that the said Patt was the mother of the before mentioned Nell, that Patt when this deponent knew her was the slave of Capt. John Lancaster deceased, being interrogated by the Defendant James Neale 1st Do you recollect the colour or complexion of Patt, answers, she does, and that she Patt was a dark Molatto. 2nd Did you ever hear that Patt was descended from a free woman, answers she never did until a few years ago, when she heard one of Patt's Grand sons say that the mother of Patt was a white Welch woman but never heard it from any other person. 3d Was Patt always held and considered as a slave, answer, she was. 4th Did you ever hear Patt or Nell the daughter of Patt say, that they or either of them was intitled to freedom, answer she did not 5th How old was Patt when you knew her, answer she does not know but she must have been verry old as she was past labour and farther this deponent saith not.

Teresa Lancaster.

Taken and sworn before Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

Charles County, to wit, On the 28th day of April in the year seventeen hundred and ninety four the following depositions were made and sworn to before the subscriber one of the Justices of the Peace for Charles County aforesaid in Pursuance of the above order from the General Court in the presence of the Plaintiff and defendant after due notice being given to the Plaintiff by the Defendant. Ann Bateman of Charles County aged sixty five years or thereabouts being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that she knew a Negro Woman the property of Captn John Lancaster called Patt. Being interrogated by the defendant James Neale 1st Did you ever hear that she Patt or any of her descendants called themselves Shorter or that they or either of them had any claim to freedom. answers she did not. Being asked by the Petitioner Clement 1st How old was you when you first knew Patt, answer, eleven or twelve years old. 2nd Do you recollect the colour or complexion of the before mentioned Patt answers, a dark Molatto. 3d Do you recollect her having any children, answer do not remember her having any. 4th Do you remember the colour of her the said Patt's hair, answer, that she does not. 5th How long did you live near her the said Patt, answer four or five years. 6th Was she considered a sensible woman or not, answers she was not considered sensibly, and farther the deponent saith not.

Ann Bateman
her A mark

Taken and sworn to before Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

 

The deposition of Eleanor Fearson aged eighty two years or thereabouts being first sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she knew Jane Short the property of Roswell Neale of St Mary's County the brother of Raphael Neale of Charles County that she said Jane Short told the deponent that she was sister to Patt the property of Captn John Lancaster whose property she the said Patt died. Being interrogated by the defendant James Neale 1st Do you recollect the reason why Jane the sister of Patt was called Jane Short, answer, she was in common called so by black and white but the cause I know not. 2nd Did you ever understand that she was of a white or free descent, answer no I never did. 3d Did you ever hear Patt called a Short, answer I never did. Being asked by Clement the Petitioner, 1st Did you ever hear the Master or Mistress of either Jane or Patt say they or either of them were intitled to their freedom, answer, I never did. 2nd How long did you live near Jane Short, answer one year. 3d Was Jane the sister of Patt called Jane Short when you first knew her ans? she was. 4th Do you recollect the colour or complexion of Jane Short, answer, a dark Mulatto. 5th Was Jane Short's children call Short. Answer, two of them as they were all I knew. 6th Did you know any thing of the mother of the aforementioned Jane & Patt or do you recollect ever hearing any person say they did. Answer. I know nothing of her, neither do I recollect ever hearing any person say they did. 7th How long since you first knew the aforementioned Patt or Jane Short, answer, about fifty two years ago, and farther the Deponent saith not.

Eleanor Fearson
her E mark

Taken and sworn to before Benjamin Lancaster (seal)

The deposition of William Hill aged about fifty eight years being sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God deposeth & saith that he knows Henny the Petitioner now present and she is the daughter of Lucy Short who belonged to the Estate of William Neale deceased: the deponent has known Lucy ever since he could ride a horse and she belonged to William Neale when he first knew her; the deponent further saith that he always understood that the said Lucy was daughter of a sister of old Mol Short who lived with and belonged to Henry Rozer, and which Moll was the mother of Linda who belonged to the said Henry Rozer, which Linda was mother of Basil who petitioned in Prince Georges County against Henry Rozer; and he has heard the said Lucy commonly call the said Moll Short Aunt Molly Short; and he has understood that the father of William Neale   Neale lived in St Mary's County but does not recollect to have heard his Christian name; and he further saith that he has often heard John Parnham of Charles County, now deceased, when the Deponent was a boy and waited on him, say that the aforesaid Mary had as much right to her freedom, as the mother of the deponent had; that the deponent's Mother was the daughter of a white woman; and this deponent heard the said John Parnham say so to his wife several times; that at the times aforesaid he called the said Mary old Moll Short; and that the said John Parhnam was son of John Parham, and uncle to Doctor John Parnham now living in Charles County; and he thinks has been dead upwards of forty years; and he further saith that the mother of the deponent served her time with the said John Parnham who made the declarations aforesaid and he further saith that his Grand Mother who was a white woman and a Scotch woman served her time which was four years to old Mr Henry Wharton whose daughter the aforesaid John Parnham married, and was living with the said Henry Wharton when the said declarations were made, and afterwards lived with the said John Parnham some months.

Sworn to this 23d day of October 1792 before J Bullen.

This deposition to be read in evidence on the General questions in all the cases of Petitions by the Shorters in Prince Georges County where we are concerned & an attested copy of it to be admitted in all cases in the General Court where we are concerned.

G Duvall for Petrs
Philip B Key for Defds

23d Octo 1792.

Henny Butler aged sixty seven years or thereabout being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she was born in the family of Raphael Neale of Charles County deceased; which Raphael Neale she always understood was the son of Anthony Neale, and this she understood from her young mistresses daughters of the said Raphael Neale, whom she has often heard talk about their Grandfather Anthony Neale; that she well knew a Mulatto woman named Patty who belonged to the said Raphael Neale who was called Patty Shorter, and who would always talk about her freedom when she was made mad by any of the family. That she knew the said Patty from the time she the Deponent was a child, and she was a woman when she first knew her; and she had children older than the Deponent, two of which she remembers, and they were named Nel and Betty; that she also knew other children of Patty Shorter, to wit, Ned, Clem, and   and Jack, and Nanny & Peggy, and Ned is now living, and is owned by Mr Plowden of St Mary's County; that Peg, Clem, & Jack are dead, but the Deponent does not know whether Nanny is dead or living; that the aforesaid Patty Shorter lived in the House with the deponent until John Lancaster married Betsy Neale daughter of the aforesaid Raphael Neale when he gave her to his daughter; and the Deponent saith that she frequently saw her after she lived with the said John Lancaster in Charles County and that she died in his possession a great many years ago. Being asked to whom Nel the daughter of Patty belonged, when she died? answers, after the death of Raphael Neale, his widow gave her to Thomas Taney who married a daughter of the said Raphael Neale named Polly, and that Nel died at the Taney's, she thinks after the death of her Master. That Betty died at the aforesaid John Lancaster; and Peggy at the aforesaid Taney's. Being asked if she knew any of the children of the aforesaid Nel, answers she does. Terry who belongs to Mrs Chunn, and who has petitioned against her; Jem, brother of Terry who belongs to Thomas Reeves; Nase another brother, but she does not know to whom he belongs; Jenny who belongs to Mrs Bradford, and Betty who, she thinks belongs to John Smith. Being asked if she knows any of Betty's children, answers she knows Nelly who belonged to John Lancaster, and Clem who belongs to the same person, and Ned who belongs to the widow Boarman, who was a daughter of William Neale deceased. Being asked if she knew any of Pegg's children, answers, she knows but one, named Fanny who did belong to the aforesaid Taney, but to who she now belongs the deponent knows not. Being asked if she knows any of the children of Nanny daughter of the aforesaid Patty Shorter, answers, she does not; that Nanny went away from the Neighbourhood when she was a young woman, that she belonged to John Lancaster, and was given by him to one of his daughters who married Lotty Coombs Being asked if Patty Shorter had any sisters that the deponent knew, answers, she had one named Jenny who belonged to Roswell Neale, brother of the aforesaid Raphael Neale; that Jenny was a Mulatto Woman, and the Deponent knew her when she the Deponent was a Girl; that Henny Neale daughter of Raphael Neale married Basil Brooke and Raphael Neale her master gave her to the said Henny his daughter before her marriage, and she went to live with the said Brooke and   and lived with him one year in Calvert County, and he afterwards moved to St Mary's County, and lived not far from Roswell Neale; Being asked if she knew any of Jenny's Children, answers, she knew but one and her name was Lucy, who was older than the Deponent. and the said Lucy afterwards belonged to William Neale son of the aforesaid Roswell Neale and the said Lucy had several children which this deponent knew, viz, Bob, Basil, Jim, Henny, Mary Anne & Charity; and the Deponent has heard she had a daughter named Chloe but she never saw her that she knows of, that Bob has petitioned for his freedom; and Basil also has petitioned, and against Charles Carroll; Jim belongs to Mrs Bradford, that Henny belongs she has understood to Mr Barnes of Port Tobacco; that she does not know to whom Mary Anne, and Charity belong. Being asked if she knew any other sister of Patty Shorter? answers she did not but has heard her sister Betty, who was born in Raphael Neale's family, say Patty had another sister, named Molly; that Betty the Deponents Sister was many years older than the Deponent and was her mother's first child as she has understood, and there were six or seven children between Betty and the deponent who was the youngest child of the mother; that her said sister Betty has told her that Molly belonged to Neddy Neale, brother of Raphael Neale, Being asked if she ever heard and from whom that Patty Shorter beforementioned was descended from a white woman, answers, she did not. Being asked if she ever heard how her Master Raphael Neale got Patty Shorter, answers, she never did. The Deponent further saith that she knows Charles who petitioned for his freedom against Henry Diggs and knows his mother Terry, and has known Terry many years; that many years ago Terry and the deponent lived close together, the Deponent with Basil Brooke, and Terry belonged to Henry Diggs and lived on the Plantation that did belong to Edward Diggs when he was living. Being asked if she knew the mother of Terry, says she has seen her, but was not acquainted with her. Her name she understood was Sal and she belonged to old Robert Brent; and she has heard Charles's Grandfather Ned Butler call the said Sal, Sal Shorter. Being asked if she understood and from that Sal was a descendant of Patty Shorter or Jenny Shorter, answers she has not.

Sworn to 22nd Octo 1793 before J Bullen.

 

Montgomery County Ss. The deposition of Mary Wimsatt of Montgomery County Maryland who being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith, that she knows Notley Young Esqr of Prince Georges County, and his fellow by the name of Charles for about thirteen years past, that she also knew Caty said to be Charles mother a slave of said Young's for about forty years past, but not by the name of Shorter or Shorts, that she also knew the mother of Caty by the name of Moll when she lived with Edward Neale in Charles County and was said to be his property, that she knew a fellow in Saint Mary's County by the name of Ned Shorts about thirty years ago, that his mothers name was Jane Shorts, and that she was a free woman as she understood, that she heard Ruthy Green a free Mulatto woman say, that she had a child by the above named Caty's brother by the name of John; said Ruthy lived with John Parnham of Charles County, that she had swore the child to a free man in Charles County Court, meaning said John, brother of Caty, that she did not swear to a lie the John was then in slavery, but if he had his right, he would be free, farther this Deponent saith not. Sworn before Danl Reintzell Novr 26th 1792

Mary Wimsatt
her + mark

Wilfred Neale of St Mary's County aged fifty two years being sworn in this cause on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, deposeth and saith that he does not know the Petitioner; he has been informed there was a boy in the family of his Uncle William Neale named Basil, that he does not know that that boy is the present Petitioner, that his Uncle William Neale has been dead upwards of twenty years that he knew Jenny the mother of Lucy who belonged to his said Uncle; that Jenny belonged to his Grandfather Roswell Neale, and after his decease to his son Raphael Neale to whom she belonged when the Deponent knew her; that Jenny was a yellow woman and used to be called Jenny Short; that he has heard his father say that Lucy was all that his Uncle William Neale got of his mothers Esate; and that his Fathers Mother's maiden name was Chandler. Being asked if he has heard how or from whom his Grandfather Roswell Neale got the aforesaid Jenny, answers, he has not. Being asked if he ever understood that there was a white woman who lived in the family of his great Grandfather, answers, he never did: Being asked if he ever understood what the name of Roswell Neale's father was, answers he has understood it was Anthony Neale. Being asked if he has understood that the aforesaid Jenny was descended from a white woman   answers that about five or six years ago when the Butlers got free by Judgment of the General Court, it was the common talk of the Neighbourhood that several other families, the Shorts and Mingoes now called Thomas's would probably petition: Being asked if he heard any reason assigned why these families would petition, answers, that it was generally supposed that as the Butlers had got free or would get free that those two families would petition and that they had the same or an equal right. Being asked if he remembers to have heard what Jenny's mother's name was, answers he did not. Being asked if he has ever heard or if he knows how the aforesaid Jenny and Lucy her daughter came into the family of his Ancestors, answers, that his the Deponts Grandfather intermarried with the sister of a Mr Chandler in Charles County and that he this Depont has often heard his father say that himself and his brothers never got from their Mothers family any property except one Negro each and that the said Lucy was the Negro which William Neale the Uncle of this Depont got of his Mothers Estate. Being asked if he knows or has heard how many sons Anthony Neale had, answers that he knew Roswell Neale, his Grand father, and Bennett Neale (Priest) who has been dead about six or seven years; and Charles Neale who died some few years before Bennett; that he did not know any of the others, but has understood that he had two other sons, one named Raphael, the other Edward. Sworn to in open Court this 1st June 1793. Jno Gwinn Clk

The State of Maryland, To Tasker Carter, Corbin Washington, Beckwith Butler, John Hackney, Walker Muse, and William Hull Esquires of Westmoreland County and Commonwealth of Virginia Greeting: Know ye that we have appointed you, or any one or more of you to be our commissioners to examine evidences in a cause depending in our General Court for the Western Shore of the said state, between Thomas Shorter Petitioner for freedom and Richard Jordan, Defendant; We therefore request you or anyone or more of you, that at such time and place as to you, or any one or more of your shall seem convenient, you cause to come before you or or any one or more of you all such evidences as shall be named or produced to you or any one or more of you by either the Plaintiff or Defendant, and that you or any one or more of you, examine them upon their corporal oaths, to be by you, or any one or more of you administered on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, touching their knowledge or remembrance elf any thing that may relate to the cause aforesaid; and that you or any one or more of you cause notice to be given to the parties or their Attornies [incomplete image]   you cause notice to be given to the parties or their Attornies, of the execution of this commission, before you execute the same; and having reduced the depositions of the witnesses, so taken before you or any one or more of you into writing, you send the same with this our commission, closed under your, or any three one or two more of your hands and seals, to us in our said Court, with all convenient speed. Witness the honourable Samuel Chase Esquire, Chief Judge of our said Court, the thirteenth day of May Anna Domino one thousand seven hundred and ninety four.

Issued the fourteenth day of May 1794. Jno Gwinn Clk

Gabriel Duvall Esqr p Petitioner
Philip B Key Esqr p Defdt

Westmoreland County Virginia May 23d 1794.

In obedience to a Commission bearing date the fourteenth day of May 1794 issured by the Clerk of the General Court for the Western Shore of Maryld to me directed one of the Commonwealth's Justices for the County aforesaid, having pursuant to said Commission examined upon oath John Baptist Anderson aged sixty six years touching his knowledge in the cause depending in the aforesaid Court between Thomas Short Petitioner and Richard Jordan defendant, to which this deponent sayeth; that he knows nothing of the first, second, and third questions demanded by the Attorney for the Petitioner and for the fourth he sayeth, I did know a mulatto woman by the name of Jane Short in the County of Saint Mayries, she lived in a House of Rosall Neale's and acted for herself. after the death of said Rosall Neale she lived on his sons Ralph Neal's Land, and their supported herself as before, till her death as well as I can remember about forty three years ago. This Deponent further answereth to the fifth question and sayeth, that I knew Jane Short a Mulatto woman, but do not no whether descended from a white or a free woman. That I knew she had the following children vizt Edward, Charles, Lodge, Abby, Bridget, and Lucy, I further knew two Grand Children of the aforesaid Jane by the names of William and Jenny who lived in the family of the Neals; to the sixth and seventh questions of the Petitioners, he hath no knowledge off; also he further sayeth that he hath no knowledge of the question proposed by Philip B Key Esqr for the Defendant. Given under my hand and seal as above dated.

Walker Muse (seal)

 

And the said Henry Rozier by Philip B Key his Attorney, saith that the said Elizabeth Shorter was not a free white woman, and of this he puts himself upon the Country; and the said Basil Shorter in like manner. And the said Henry Rozier by his said Attorney further saith that the said Basil Shorter is not lineally descended in the female line from a free white woman named Elizabeth Shorter; and of this he puts himself upon the Country. and the said Basil Shorter in like manner.

Thereupon let a Jury thereon appear before the Court here immediately by whom and so forth, and who neither and so forth, because as well and so forth, who being called, come, that is to say, John Barrett Onion, William Gordon, James Cresap, Henry Crest, Benjamin Hungerford, Thomas Hellen, Benjamin Richardson, William Hammond, Thomas Lingan, Robert Baden, William McComas, and Stephen Jones who being duly elected, tried, and sworn to say the truth in the Premises upon their oath do say, as to the first issue between the parties aforesaid within joined, to be tried by the Country that the said Elizabeth Shorter was a free white woman as the said Petitioner aforesaid in his said petition preferred against the said Henry Rozier within hath alledged; and as to the second issue between the parties aforesaid within joined to be tried by the Country, the Jurors aforesaid on their oath aforesaid farther say that the said Basil Shorter is lineally descended in the female line from a free white woman named Elizabeth Shorter in manner and form as he the said Basil Shorter in his said petition preferred as aforesaid hath above alledged.

Therefore it is adjudged by the Court here that the said Basil Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid be free and discharged of and from the service of the aforesaid Henry Rozier and that he the said Basil Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid go thereof without day &c. It is also considered and adjudged by the Court here that the said Basil Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid recover against the aforesaid Henry Rozier the quantity of two thousand, eight hundred, and eighty four pounds of Tobacco by the Court here unto him the said Basil Shorter 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 his execution against the aforesaid Henry Rozier and so forth.

Memorandum. Before the Jurors aforesaid withdrew from the Barr of the Court here the said Henry Rozer by his Attornies aforesaid filed in Court here the following bill of Exception to wit.

 

Basil Shorter
vs
Henry Rozier

In the tryal of this cause the Petitioner gave in evidence to the Jury that the was the son of a Mulatto Woman named Linda who was the daughter of a Mulatto woman named Moll or Mary, that the defendant holds and claims him the Petitioner under Edward Neale whose daughter the Defendant married; that Edward Neale was the son of Anthony Neale of St Mary's County and held and claimed the aforesaid Moll & Linda from and under the said Anthony Neale and that the said Moll was held and claimed by the said Anthony Neale many years in his life time; And the Petitioner also offered evidence to prove that the said Moll or Mary had two sisters by the same Mother named Jenny and Patt who were also held and claimed by the said Anthony and who with their Issue have been since held and claimed by his descendants and others under him and that the said Anthony Neale departed this life in or about the year seventeen hundred and twenty three and the Petitioners also offered evidence to prove the existence of such a free white woman as Elizabeth Shorter in the family of the Neale's and in the life time of the said Anthony Neale; and thereupon the Petitioners offered in evidence the paper and agreement hereto annexed the said paper being agreed by the Defendant to be a true full & exact copy from an entry made by the clerk of Charles County Court in the year seventeen hundred and three in one of the Record Books of the said County and it being also agreed that the said paper should be as good evidence as if the Record itself, from which it purports to be copied, was produced. And the Petitioners proved that the Paper in the said Record mentioned to be recorded was not to be found among the papers remaining in the Clerk's office of the said County, and that the Parish Registers of King and Queen's Parish of Saint Mary's County up to the year seventeen hundred and forty four have been lost or destroyed. And the Defendant by his Council objected to the admissibility of the said entry on the Record aforesaid as evidence in this cause but the Court were of opinion that the same was evidence, and accordingly allowed it to be read to the Jury; to which opinion of the Court the Defendant by his Council excepted and tendered this his Bill of Exceptions to be signed and sealed by the Court according to the form of the statute in such case made and provided; which is done accordingly.

Samuel Chase (seal)
Jeremiah Townley Chase (seal)

The following is a Copy of the paper and agreement referred to in the foregoing Exception, to wit:

 

Att the request of Mr Anthony Neale the following Certificate and Deposition were recorded.

Maryland Ss. St Mary's County. These are to certifye that in ye yeare one thousand six hundred and eighty one or near about that time I Nicholass Gulick Preist the subscribe hereof did Joyne together in the Holy Estate of Matrimony according to then Law a Negro Man named (to the best of my remembrance) little Robin, to a white woman whose name was Elizabeth Shorter which Couple all that time were both servants under Mr William Roswell deceased, and was after as I am in informed, disposed of by the said Roswell until Mr Anthony Neale of Charles County. Certified under my hand this 15th day of June Anno 1702.

Nicholas Geulick.

Memorandum, they day and yeare above came before me Mr Geulick and made Oath upon the Holy Evangelist that ye above Affidavit is the whole truth, and nothing butt ye truth Juratt coram me Joshua Guibert.

Maryland Ss. St. Mary's County, Ema Roswell widow aged seaventy years or thereabouts being sworne upon ye Holy Evangelist, declareth upon her Oath that she the said Deponent was present att the marriage of the above said Couple, and that the Seremony was performed by the above said Mr Nicholas Geulick Preist and that the Negro Man's name was Little Robin and the white woman's name Elizabeth Shorter and that they were at the time of their being marryed both servants unto this Deponents Husband, William Roswell decd and by him given and made over and delivered up unto Anthony Neale upon marriage of the said Neale with Elizabeth the Daughter of sd Roswell & have remained in ye said Neales service ever since, & yt after the marriage of ye said Negro man & white woman ye said white woman had three Mollatto Girl Children named Mary, Jane, & Martha who are now liveing to the best of this Deponents knowledge, this 15th day of June Anno 1702.

Jurat coram me. Joshua Guibert

Maryland St. Mary's County Ss (King & Queen Parrish) June 6th 1702. Then recorded upon ye Record Book of the above said Parrish the two within Affidavits one of Mr Nicholass Geulick Preist the other of Mrs Ema Roswell, this being a true coppy as now Given under my hand the day and date above pr me.

Wm Havett Clk Vestry 1702

Entered on the Records of Charles County June ye 25th 1703.

Maryland  

Maryland Charles County, to wit.

In Testimony that the aforegoing Certificates & Deposition are truly copied from Liber W No 1 Folios 225, & 226 one of the Land Records of Charles County, I have hereunto set my hand & affixed the seal of my office this 15th day of August 1791.

Jno B Turner clk of Charles County Court

I agree that this shall be offered in evidence as a true Copy and have the same effect and operation as if the Original Record book in which it was recorded was now produced in Court.

Philip B. Key for Henry Rozier
Test. John Gwinn clk.

237 sides Examd