Ann Queen v. Sylvester Boarman. Deposition of Benjamin Duvall


Benjamin Duvall aged eighty three years being sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God Deposeth and saith. That he knew a negro woman belonging to James Carroll commonly called the Poppaw Queen who came into this Country in a Vessel the name of the Captain of which he did not hear, but thinks the Vessel came into West River, and that the said Poppaw Queen was purchased as this deponent always understood by the aforesaid James Carroll. That this deponents Father Mareen Duvall who lived at the White Marsh and adjoining the plantation of the said Carroll did also purchase from the same Vessel a negro woman who was called Sarah and that old Mr. Murdock purchased from the same Vessel a negro man who was called Golden Coast Tom and that several other people in the Neighbourhood purchased negroes from the same Vessel, and Sarah aforesaid and the Poppaw Queen said a number of them died during the passage and were thrown over board, and further said that they two were healthy being allowed to be on deck and washing for the sailors and further said that one of the Poppaw Queens sisters came in with her and that two of her Brothers were in the Vessel and died on the passage. This deponent further saith that the woman before mentioned belonging to James Carroll often came to see his Fathers woman Sarah. That they spoke the same Language and always said they were shipmates and that they spoke in a language That He could not understand in their own Countrys language, and could talk for a whole   whole day without his understanding them, and that after the death of Sarah aforementioned the Poppaw Queen did not come to his Fathers any more. That the Poppaw Queen wore Beads on her Arms and had her head dressed with them and twisted round her hair which was when dressed near a yard long and on the top she had a knot of beads That he knew this woman belonging to James Carroll many years. That she was always treated by her Master as a Slave. That he never heard her or any other person say that she was entitled to or had any pretensions to Freedom. That he knew a Mullatto Boy called Ralph who was her son (as it was said) by Thomas Barns who kept her as a Mistress. That he never knew any other woman in the family of James Carroll by the name of Queen. That he was frequently at Fingal where James Carroll lived. That he never heard any disputing between James Carroll and the aforesaid negro woman respecting her right to Freedom, nor did he ever hear his Father or any of his Brothers or sisters say that they had heard any such thing. That James Carroll had no[?] other place of residence nearer to this deponents Fathers than that at Fingall which is about Ten or Twelve miles distant. This deponent further saith he understood the aforementioned Sarah was a Mundingo Negro, and that the Poppaw Queen was not from the same Country but from the Poppaw Country there being as he understood several different countrys from which negroes came such as the Golden Coast and others   others. That Sarah was a Black woman and spoke English pretty well, and that the Poppaw Queen spoke it in a more broken manner. Being asked if the woman purchased by his Father was dressed in the same manner as the Poppaw Queen, Answers that she was not, that she was almost naked having only a shirt round her shoulders and another round her waist and that she likewise wore some blue beads small and different from the Poppaw Queens. Being asked if he ever saw the Poppaw Queen at the White Marsh. Answers, he has. she was frequently there. Being asked if he ever saw James Carroll there. answers he has frequently. That James Carroll commonly called her his Poppaw Queen. Being asked what was the complexion of the Poppaw Queen answers she was very yellow. Being asked how old he was when he last saw her. Answers about fifteen or sixteen. That he never saw her after he lived with Madam Henderson Being asked if he understood what became of the Poppaw Queen afterwards. Answers. He understood that James Carroll gave her away or sold her a considerable distance off. Being asked if he remembers when his Father bought his negro. Answers He does. That he thinks he was about eight years old. Being asked how old he was when he left his Fathers neighbourhood. Answers he was about twenty years old. That he never knew any of the Poppaw Queens children but Ralph who it was said was her son. This deponent further saith that a white servant woman named   named Betty Newcomb belonging to James Carroll had a Mullatto Bastard Child and was had up as he heard to Court and condemned to serve and that James Carroll sold the mother and Child;. That the Poppaw Queen said she was a Queen in her own Country, and it was so said among the the negroes; Being asked if he ever heard any body say the Poppaw Queen was Free or a slave, says he never heard any body say any thing about her. Being asked why he thought the Vessel came into West River, answers because his Father was gone two days; being asked if he ever heard that she came into West River, answers He did not. And further this deponent saith not, Sworn to this 13th day of September 1794. Before
Thos. Duckett Associate Justice

Prince Georges County towit.

I hereby certify that the aforegoing is a true copy taken from the original filed in a Petition for Freedom by Phillis Queen against John Ashton on which Judgment was rendered on verdict for the Petitioner at April Term seventeen hundred and ninety six.

In Testimony whereof I do hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of office of the county aforesaid this Fifth day of March seventeen hundred and ninety eight.

Jno. R. Magruder Jr. Clk of Prince Georges County Court.


Benjamin Duvalls Deposition

Ann Queen
a Sylvester Borman

Fild. 26 Mar: 1801

Search 10
Copy & Cert[?] 40
Seal 5
55 [illegible]