China v. Benjamin D. Patterson. William Patterson's Answers to Interrogatories


The deposition of William Patterson aged about Fifty Eight years taken in a suit now depending in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Alexandria in which negroe China is Plaintiff and Benjamin D. Patterson defendant

This deponant being first sworn deposeth and saith. That on or about the first Day of May Eighteen Hundred and four He this Deponent gave to a Certain Sarah Clare now the wife of Benjamin D Patterson a Negro Girl by the name of Chaney then about twelve years of age, and did then and there deliver the said Negro Girl to her the said Sarah Clare, and her Heirs forever.

Questions by the Counsel of Negroe China

1. How is Sarah Clare the Wife of Benjamin D. Patterson related to you. She is my niece, and was mostly brought up in my family when young.

2 When did she intermarry with Benjamin D. Patterson. Some time in the month of July Eighteen Hundred and six.

3. When did Benjamin D. Patterson remove to the District of Columbia. Some time in the year Eighteen Hundred and three.

4. When did he bring his Wife to the District? Some time in the month of July Eighteen Hundred and Six.


5 When did he remove negroe China from Maryland to the District? Some time after the marriage in the year Eighteen Hundred and six.

6. Did you make any conveyance of the said slave to Sarah Clare. No I made no deed, but made a verbal gift as before stated.

7. Did Sarah Clare pay you any valuable consideration for the said negroe slave. No, she paid me non. I give gave her the said slave as before stated.

8. Had Sarah Clare possession of the said slave before her intermarriage with Benjamin D. Patterson. She had and occasionally used her as her slave.

9. With whom did Sarah Clare reside previously to her intermarriage with Benjamin C. Patterson. At the time of her marriage, she resided with her mother, but as before stated she was raised mostly in my family.

10. What acts of ownership did Sarah Clare exercise over the said Slave after the said gift and before her marriage with Pattinson: Answer The Slave was under her Controul and at her disposal. She was frequently at Sarah Clares Mothers waiting on the said Sarah Clare before her said marriage.

William Pattinson

Calvert County
State of Maryland

The above deposition of Ben William Patterson of the County aforesaid was taken before me the subscriber a Justice of the Peace for the County aforesaid at the house of William Patterson this in the County aforesaid this nineteenth day of December 1810.

Joshua Sedwick