Ignatius Shorter v. John Fenwick. Judgment Record

 

Ignatius Shorter
against
John Fenwick

Be it remembered that heretofore to wit. on the twenty third day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, Ignatius Shorter by Gabriel Duvall his attorney, preferred and filed in the General Court here his petition for Freedom against William Fenwick which is in form following to wit.

To the honourable the Judges of the General Court. The Petition of Ignatius Shorter humbly sheweth that he is held in slavery by a certain William Fenwick late of Saint Marys County, but now of Kentucky, and your petitioner is informed that he is entitled to his freedom begin descended from a free white woman. Your petitioner therefore prays your honours to enquire into the premises and direct summons to issue against the said William Fenwick and John Fenwick his agent   Agent now in St. Marys County; and that the common order may be granted to prevent the said William Fenwick and John Fenwick from carrying your petitioner out of the State. And he will pray and so forth. G. Duvall for Petr.

Whereupon in pursuance of the rule of the Court here in such cases made and provided the said Ignats Shorter by his attorney aforesaid on the day and year aforesaid, prosecuted and sued forth out of the General Court here, the writ of the State of Maryland of Subpoena ad respondendum against the said William Fenwick and the said John Fenwick his agent directed to the sheriff of Saint Marys County in form following to wit.

The State of Maryland Sst To the sheriff of St Marys County Greeting. We Command you that you summon William Fenwick and John Fenwick late of Saint Marys County, that all excuses and delays set aside, they be and appear before the Judges of General Court to be held at the City of Annapolis on the second Tuesday of May next to answer the petition of Ignatius Shorter preferred against him the said William Fenwick for freedom; hereof they are not to fail, and fail not at your peril and have you then and there this writ. Witness the honourable Samuel Chase Esquire Chief Judge of our said Court, the 14th day of February Anno Domini 1792.

Issued the 23d day of April 1792 GD. John Gwinn Clk.

At which said second Tuesday of May being the Eighth day of the said month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, and the day of the return of the aforegoing summons comes into the General Court here the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid; and the sheriff of Saint Marys County aforesaid, to whom the said summons was in form aforesaid directed, makes return thereof to the Court here thus endorsed to wit.

Summoned John. Non Est William. F. Hamersley Shff

Whereupon comes into the General Court here the said John Fenwick by Philip Barton Key his attorney: and the said William Fenwick doth not come Whereupon on motion of the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid it is ruled by the Court here that the said John Fenwick enter into a recognizance to the State of Maryland in the usual form in such cases made and provided. Whereupon the said John Fenwick in his proper person acknowledges himself to owe and stand justly indebted to the State of Maryland in the sum of fifty pounds Current money to be levied of his body goods and Chattels lands and tenements   tenements to and for the use of the said State of Maryland, on condition that the said John Fenwick do not remove the said Ignatius Shorter from attending the Court from time to time in support of his petition for Freedom exhibited in she said Court against the said William Fenwick and in the mean time to feed cloath and use him the said Ignatius Shorter well and pay whatever satisfaction the Court shall adjudged for the service of the said Ignatius Shorter from this term to the time of the Judgment with costs. Thereupon further process of and upon upon the premises aforesaid between the parties aforesaid by order of the Court here is continued until the second Tuesday of October next; the same day is given to the parties aforesaid, then and so forth.

At which said second tuesday of October being the ninth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety two, come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick by his attorney aforesaid; And the parties aforesaid by their attornies aforesaid agree that all depositions taken in the case on ten days notice to the petitioner or defendants Council before a Justice of the peace shall be received and read in evidence in all the Cases 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. Thereupon further process of and upon the premisses aforesaid, between the parties aforesaid by order of the Court here is further continued until the second Tuesday of May next, the same day is given to the parties aforesaid then and so forth.

At which said second Tuesday of May being the fourteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three, come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick 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; the same day is given to the said parties then and so forth.

At   At which said second Tuesday of October being the eighth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick 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 May next, the same day is given to the said parties then and so forth

At which said second tuesday of May being the thirteenth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four, come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick 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 the same day is given to the parties aforesaid then and so forth.

At which said second Tuesday of October being the fourteenth day of the said month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid, as the said John Fenwick 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 May next; the same day is given to the parties aforesaid then and soforth.

At which said second tuesday of May being the twelfth day of the same month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five, come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick 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; the same day is given to the parties aforesaid then and so forth.

And now at this day to wit, the said second tuesday of October being the thirteenth day of the said month in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five come again into the General Court here as well the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid as the said John Fenwick by his attorney aforesaid; And the said Ignatius Shorter by his attorney aforesaid files in Court here sundry   sundry depositions which are in form following to wit.

Teresa Shorter
against
Joseph Boarman

The deposition of Terry Shorter aged fifty eight years being sworn on the holy evangely of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she knows Teresa Shorter who petitioned against Joseph Boarman and has known her eighteen or nineteen years that she is sister of Charity Shorter who obtained her freedom against Ignatius Shorter Matthews and also a sister of Basil Shorter who petitioned against Charles Carroll and obtained his freedom That Robert Shorter who petitioned against Mary Neale now Mary Simms by Intermarriage with Robert Simms is also a brother of Basil who petitioned against Charles Carroll being the son of Lucy Shorter who formerly belonged to William Neale near Port Tobacco. That Jim Shorter who petitioned against Mrs Bradford is also son of Lucy aforesaid and brother of Basil who obtained his freedom against Charles Carroll. That Stephen Shorter who petitioned against John Boarman is son of Jenny who petitioned against Mrs Bradford which Jenny is full sister of this deponent and this deponent obtained her freedom against Mrs Chunn. That Anne Shorter who petitioned against Raphael Boarman is also a daughter of this deponents Sister Jenny aforesaid. That Monica Shorter who petitioned against Edward Hazle is the daughter of Jenny Shorter who belonged to Henry Neale of St Marys County which Jenny is sister of Basil who btained his freedom against Charles Carroll. That Priscilla Shorter who petitioned against John Smith is daughter of Appy and sister of George Shorter who petitioned against Henry Neale. That Baptist who petitioned against the said John Smith is son of the said Priscilla. That Ignatius Shorter who petitioned against John Fenwick is the son of Nanny Shorter which Nanny is aunt of this deponent and this deponent knew Nanny ever since she the said Nanny was a child and she is about five years younger than the deponent that Nanny was the daughter of Patty Shorter who belonged to old John Lancaster and was a grand mother of this deponent; that she has understood that said Nanny is now in Kentucky with a Mr Fenwick who claims Nase. That Phillis Shorter who has petitioned against Mary Boarman is daughter of this deponents Sister Jenny who   who petitioned against Mrs Bradford and Letty who has petitioned against the said Mary Boarman is daughter of said Phillis. That Thomas Shorter who belongs to Richard Jordan she has always understood was son of the deponents Sister Betty that Bettys mother was the deponent's mother and Betty was many years younger than the deponent and the deponent knew her ever since she the said Betty was a child being both born in the same family. That when the deponent went to see her mother and her sister at John Smiths on patuxent the said Tom was a boy and appeared to be about six or seven years old, that the deponents mother Nelly was then sick at Mr Smith's and died of that Illness; that this deponent had never seen the said Tom but once before that, and he then seemed to be about two years old; that her said Sister Betty was then big with her next Child, and Tom always past for Betty Child and whenever heard it contradicted or questioned. That Clem Shorter who petitioned against Raphael Neale is about three years older than Tom and she has known Clem ever since she knew Tom having first seen them at the same time, and Clem always past as the son of the deponent's Sister Betty aforesaid and she never heard it contradicted, and he was owned by Betty as her Child. That Ignatius Shorter who petitioned against Henry Howell is brother of this deponent and son of her mother Nelly and the deponent has known him ever since he was a child. That Gerard Shorter who petitioned against Mrs Bradford. That Patty Shorter who has petitioned against Thomas Stone this deponent has known ever since she was a child she is daughter of Betty who was aunt of this deponent and sister of this deponents Mother Nelly and was always reputed as such and she never heard it contradicted the said Betty was daughter of Patty who belonged to old John Lancaster as the deponent always understood and never heard it contradicted.

Sworn this 17th day of October 1795, before John Randall

Taken before John T. Mason and Gabriel Duvall.

Priscilla Shorter
against
John Smith

Sarah Butler of Anne Arundel County aged fifty three years & upwards being sworn on the holy Evangely of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she knows Priscilla Shorter now present, and has known her ever since she was born; that they were both born in the family of Henry Neale deceased, who was son of Roswell Neale the   the said Priscilla Shorter is daughter of Appy Shorter now deceased, the deponent knew Appy well, she belonged to the said Henry Neale; that Appy has been dead about nineteen years; that she had Eleven Children to wit, Henny, Joshua, Anthony Jenny, Shadrack, George, Nelly, Peter, Prissy and Lucy and Gerrard; that Henny, Joshua, Jenny, Shadrack George Nelly and Gerrard are dead, that Lucy belongs to Henry Neale of St Mary's County son of Henry Neale deceased before mentioned, and has petitioned against him. That the deponent knew Jenny Shorter very well and Appy was always reputed the daughter of Jenny Shorter, and they always claimed one another as neither and daughter and she never heard it contradicted.

Sworn 27 Octo 1795 before John Bullen

Leonard Shorter
against
Richard Edelen

Priscilla Shorter aged between forty and fifty years being sworn on the holy Evangely of Almighty God deposeth and saith that the Petitioner Leonard Shorter now present is the son of the deponent and her master John Smith sold him to Philip Ford four or five years ago, and Philip Ford gave him to the defendant who married his daughter. That Baptist Shorter who petitioned against John Smith is also son of this deponent and is older than Leonard and is now about twenty four years of age.

Sworn to this 30th day of October 1795; before, J. Bullen

Teresa Shorter
against
Joseph Boarman

Jenny Shorter aged sixty two years and upwards being sworn on the holy evangely of Almighty God deposeth and saith that she knew Terry Shorter who petitioned against Joseph Boarman; she was daughter as the deponent always understood of Lucy Shorter who belonged to William Neale near Port Tobacco, and afterwards to the widow of said Neale, which Lucy was Sister of Henny who petitioned against Henry Barnes, and of Basil who petitioned against Charles Carroll that she knows Robert Shorter commonly called Bob Russeten, who was always reputed to be the brother of the said Lucy Henny and Basil. The deponent also saith that Anne Shorter who petitioned against Raphael Boarman is daughter of this deponent and was sold and sent to the Havanna as she has been   Been informed that the said Anne was sent away by Raphael Boarman sometime after she had petitioned; being asked if Raphael Boarman knew that she had petitioned answers she thinks he did; he was in the house when the deponent heard Benjamin Wakefield read the order of Court about her petitioning that she was to be used well and the like and she was sent away some months afterwards; that it was at the house of the within of Raphael Boarman when the deponent heard the order of Court read, and from said House she was sent. That Nell Shorter who petitioned against William Chandler Brent is daughter of Minta, now deceased, who was daughter of this deponent and the deponent know said Nell ever since she was a Child. That Philis who petitioned against Mary Boarman is daughter of this deponent, and Letty who petitioned against said Mary Boarman is daughter of said Phillis. That Tom who petitioned against Richard Jordan this deponent has known ever since he was about two years old; he is the son of Betty who was Sister on the mother's and father's side of this deponent. That Clem who petitioned against Raphael Neale is a full brother of said Tom.

Sworn to this 16th day of May 1796 before, J. Bullen.

Whereupon all and singular the premises between the parties aforesaid by the Court here being seen heard and fully understood and mature deliberation thereupon had, for that it appears to the Court here that the said Ignatius Shorter the petitioner aforesaid is entitled to his freedom being descended, in the female line from a free white woman, as he by his petition to the Court here hath alledged; Therefore it is considered by the Court here, that the said Ignatius Shorter the petitioner aforesaid be free and discharged of and from the service of the aforesaid John Fenwick and that he the said Ignatius Shorter the petitioner aforesaid be free and discharged of and from the service of the aforesaid John Fenwick and that he the said Ignatius Shorter the petitioner aforesaid go thereof without day &c. It is further considered by the Court here, that the said Ignatius Shorter the petitioner aforesaid, recover against the said John Fenwick the quantity of seven hundred and seven pounds of Tobacco by the Court here unto him the said Ignatius Shorter on his assent adjudged for his costs and Charges by him about the prosecution of his petition aforesaid laid out and expended, and that he have thereof his execution, &c.

Test John Gwinn Clk.