Charity Shorter v. Ignatius Matthews. Judgment Record

 

Charity Shorter
against
Ignatius Matthews

Be it remembered, that heretofore towit, on the Sixteenth day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety; Charity Shorter by Gabriel Duvall her attorney, preferred and filed in the General Court here, her Petition for Freedom, which is in form following to wit. To the Honorable the Judges of the General Court The Petition of Charity Shorter, humbly sheweth, that she is held as a slave by Ignatius Matthews of Charles County, although she is entitled to her Freedom being descended from a Free woman. Your Petitioner is the daughter of Lucy Shorter, who was the daughter of Jane Shorter who was the daughter of Elizabeth Shorter a Free Woman. She therefore prayeth, that your Honors would taker her case into consideration and discharge her from the custody of the aforesaid Ignatius Matthews, and that Summonses may issue for her Witnesses andsoforth. G. Duvall for Petitioner.

Whereupon, it is ordered by the Court here, that the writ of the State of Maryland of Summons issue against the said Ignatius Matthews to answer unto the Petition aforesaid of the said Charity Shorter in the plea aforesaid, which was accordingly issued, directed to the Sheriff of Charles County in form following towit. The State of Maryland Sct To the Sheriff of Charles County, Greeting. We command you that you summon Ignatius Matthews late of Charles County that all excuses and delays set aside he be and appear before the Judges of our General Court to be held at the City of Annapolis on the second tuesday of May next to answer the Petition of Charity Shorter preferred against him for Freedom. Hereof he is not to fail, and fail not at your peril and have you then and there this writ. Witness the honorable Thomas Johnson Esquire Chief Judge of our said Court the 24th day of [missing page]   cause of petitioning negroes under the name of Shorter, claiming their Freedom as descendants of a certain Elizabeth Shorter, or her Female ancestors, on the general question touching the right of Elizabeth Shorter or her female ancestors to Freedom under the Laws of this country. And the said Ignatius Matthews by his attorney aforesaid, as before, defends the force and injury when andsoforth and prays leave of the Court here further to imparle until the second tuesday of May next, and to him it is granted; the same day is given to the said Charity Shorter also. At which said second tuesday of May in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety three, come again into the General Court here, as well the said Charity Shorter by his attorney aforesaid, as the said Ignatius Matthews by his attorney aforesaid; And thereupon further process of and open the premises aforesaid, between the parties aforesaid, by order of the Court here is continued until the second Tuesday of October next. At which said second tuesday of October in the year of our Lord One than and seven hundred and ninety three, come again into the General Court here, as well the said Charity Shorter by her attorney aforesaid, as the said Ignatius Matthews by his attorney aforesaid. Thereupon further process of and upon the premises aforesaid, between the parties aforesaid, by order of the Court here is further continued until the second tuesday of October next. At which said second tuesday of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and nintey four, come again into the General Court here, as well the said Charity Shorter by her attorney aforesaid, as the said Ignatius Matthews by his attorney aforesaid. Thereupon further process of and upon the premises aforesaid, between the parties aforesaid, by order of the Court here is farther continued until the second tuesday of May next. And now at this day towit, the said second tuesday of May in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety five, come again into the General Court here as well the said Charity Shorter by her attorney aforesaid as the said Ignatius Matthews in his proper person. And the   said Ignatius Matthews in his proper person saith, that he cannot deny the complaint aforesaid of the said Charity Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid, so as aforesaid made, nor but that the said Charity Shorter the Petitioner aforesaid, is entitled to her Freedom, being descended from a free woman, in manner and form as the said Charity Shorter by her Petition aforesaid to the Court here preferred against him the said Ignatius Matthews above hath alleged; And thereupon the said Charity Shorter by her attorney aforesaid, prays that she may be dismissed and discharged from the service of the said Ignatius Matthews, together with there costs and charges by her about the prosecution of her said Petition, to be adjudged to her, and so forth. Therefore it is considered by the Court here, that the said Charity Shorter the petitioner aforesaid, recover of and against the said Ignatius Matthews her Freedom, and that she be hence freed and discharged of and from the service of the said Ignatius Matthews, and that the said Charity Shorter, the petitioner aforesaid go freed and discharged thereof without day, and soforth. And it is further considered by the Court here, that the said Charity Shorter, the petitioner aforesaid recover against the said Ignatius Matthews the quantity of pounds of tobacco, by the Court here unto the said Chastity Shorter on her assent adjudged, for her costs and charges by her about the prosecution of her said petition in this behalf laid out and expended, and that she have thereof her Execution and so forth.

Test. John Gwinn Clk