Charles Mahoney v. John Ashton. Deposition of Anne Hurdle


Charles Mahoney
John Ashton

Petition for freedom in the General Court.

Anne Hurdle, of Prince Georges County in the seventy fourth year of her age being sworn, on the holy Evangely at of Almighty God, deposeth and saith, that she never saw the petitioner, untill lately, & she has no acquaintance with John Ashton the defendant but has seen him; that she never knew or saw Anne Joyce from whom she understands the Petitioner claims his freedom; that, about fifty four years ago, or thereabouts Mary Hurdle, the mother of the deponent's late husband, had been summoned as a witness to Prince Georges County court for one Daniel Lee, a mulatto who had petitioned for his freedom against John Wight, and went to Court & was sworn as she heard her mother in law say when she returned from Court; That she understood from her that Daniel Lee was to be free when he was thirty one years of age, & that she said she knew when he was born; that when she returned she said that it was the way of the great people that they wanted this kind of servants to serve longer than they ought to serve; that she said just so they served Ann Joyce's family. that by all accounts they are in confinement now, and they ought to have been free long ago.

That the said Mary Hurdle was an old Woman at that time and has been dead about thirty years; that the deponant has always understood that the said Mary Hurdle was one hundred and two years of age when she died. That some of the company asked her who Anne Joyce was   and she said she came into this Country a young woman with Lord Baltimore. That the said Mary Hurdle then lived near Nottingham and this deponent and her husband lived with her. That she always lived in Prince Georges County as the deponent understood from her; that she came into this Country when about thirteen years old & served her time for her passage four years in the neighbourhood of Upper Marlborough as she had heard her say; & she has understood from Mary Hurdle that she came into this Country about the time that Lord Baltimore came in; That she recollects [strikethrough] that she heard Mary Hurdle say that [strikethrough] if Lord Baltimore had staid here, it would not have [strikethrough] been so; That she has also heard the Tuckers & Lovejoys who were old people and who are now dead talk about it, but can't recollect what they said, more than they censured those who kept them.

That she heard her mother in law speak of Mr Darnall and Mr Carroll as great folks but she does not remember that she ever heard her mother in Law say that Joice lived with Mr Darnall or Mr Carroll or with whom she lived


Did you ever mention the circumstances that you have above submited[?] to any person and to whom and when.

She never did. She said she never knew nothing but what she heard from her mother in law

She further saith that she heard her mother in law say that that Joice was a clever[?] pretty woman and that she was of an East India family the meaning of which she does not know That she understood that she came of a family that lived in the East Indias but she do never saw one that came from there and does not know whether they are white or black nor did she ever hear her mother in law say   whether Joice was white or black.

Had you never any conversation with your daughter Priscilla who lives in the Federal City about the claim of the Petitioners or the descendants of Joice, to freedom, if you did had at what time was it, and what did you inform her.

She says she never understood had any conversation with her daughter on the subject to the best of her recollection and never told her any thing about it unless her daughter overheard her lately when she was talking with the Petitioner Charles Mahoney. She does not recollect to have mentioned it to any person except lately to Mr Robert Brent who asked her if she had not given her deposition she said no and that she knew nothing that would do good or harm to any person, nothing but what she heard from her mother in Law; Mr Brent desired her to tell him what she knew or had heard and she did accordingly relate to him what she had heard in the same manner that the same is stated in this deposition in substance the same that she has stated in this her deposition except what she has declared upon the cross examination of John T. Mason which is all stated in his hand writing and except what she has stated to have heard from the Lovejoys & the Tuckers.

That her daughter may have casually heard her speak of the subject but she never did directly and purposely converse with her said daughter about it.

To the best of her memory she never had any conversation with her daughter on the subject.

This deponent did not consider any thing she had heard her mother say could operate one way or the other.

The Tuckers she speaks of was Thomas Tucker & Mary his wife who lived on Patuxent about ten miles from Nottingham which was the nearest town they had to go and they have both been dead upwards of forty years and near fifty years.

The Lovejoys she heard it from was Joseph Lovejoy and his wife Ann they ived in the same neighbourhood of Thomas Tucker and the Deponts mother in law, that they too ha too have been dead upwards of forty years. That her mother in law also lived in that neighbourhood. That the Lovejoys Tuckers and her mother in law were old English People and used to meet and talk together That they lived about on the subject of Joice. That they lived about half way between Piscattaway and Nottingham. That her mother in laws name before she was married was Mary Watson.

Sworn to before me this 28 May 1797
James Mackubin


This deposition to be read in evidence in any of the Petitions brought by persons claiming freedom as descendants of Ann Joice if the Witness dies or is unable to attend Court

John Johnson for Petr
John T. Mason for Mast

11 1/4 sds

Charles Mahoney
John Ashton

No 6

Anne Hurdle.

1st Depn No 10

Filed 30th May 1797.