Charles Mahoney v. John Ashton. Deposition of Thomas Lane


The deposition of Thomas Lane of Anne Arundel County aged seventy four years and upwards taken this 10th day of April 1801 in presence of Truman Tyler Attorney for the Petitioners and John T. Mason Attorney for the Owners to be by consent read in evidence in Sundry on the trial of sundry Petitions for freedom now depending in Prince Georges County Court brought by sundry persons who claim their freedom as being descended in the maternal line from Ann Joice brought into this Country by Lord Baltimore which said Ann Joice the Petitioners alledge was entittled to her freedom and was unjustly detained in Slavery.

The said Thomas Lane being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith that he is the son of Harrison Lane who lived and died in Ann Arundel County, that his father was considerably upwards of seventy years old when he died and has been dead about seventy thirty seven or eight years

That he this Deponent has [torn page] often heard one John Stephens, who was an English man lived in Ann Arundel County and died there a very old man, say and mention in his fathers family, that he John Stephens came into this Country with Lord Baltimore and was Steward to the Ship in which they came. That the said Stephens talking of their passage over frequently mentioned the circumstances of their being overtaken by very bad and stormy weather on their passage, of Lord Baltimores regret that he ever left England, and of his great desire to fall in with some ship going to England that he might write by her, that after the storm had subsided, they came in sight of a Ship, and made for her, that they spoke her at Sea and found her a Guinea Man from the coast of Guinea loaded with Negroes, that Lord Baltimore went on board of her and bought three Negroes, two men and one Woman, which he brought with him on board the ship he sailed, that the Captain laughed at Lord Baltimore for buying Negroes at Sea to which Lord   Lord Baltimore replied that he understood the Gentleman in Maryland had black Slaves Negroes for servants to wait upon them and that he wished when he got to Maryland to conform to the manners and customs of the place. That Lord Baltimore named the woman that he thus bought Ann, one of the men Goulu[?] Robin and the name of the other he does not very well remember but he thinks it was Ebo Jack or Ebo Will That the second mate of the Ship was in which Lord Baltimore and the said Stephens came to this Country was named Daniel Joice, that soon after these Negroes came on board Daniel Joice took a great liken to Ann became very intimate with her used to sleep with her and divide his Mess with her, that the Sailors used to laugh at Joice and called the woman Joice Negro woman Ann Joice. That the circumstance was mentioned to Lord Baltimore on board the ship who laughed very heartily at it and proposed to Daniel Joice the mate to have a wedding. That when Lord Baltimore returned from this Country to England he gave these three Negroes or sold them to Col. Darnall, that he has often heard [strikethrough] the said Stephens say that after Lord Baltimore went to England there was none of his Shipmates who came to this Country with him left behind but these Negroes, that he this Depont has often known the said Stephens go all the way from Herring Bay were he lived down to the Wood Yard as he said on purpose to see Ann Joice and Goulu[?] Robin, that after John Stephens whom he married he became the tenant of his father Harrison Lane for upwards of twenty years where he followed his trade as a taylor and lived many years and some few years before his death whom he moved about four miles farther off. The Deponent being asked by Mr Tyler if he ever heard the said Stephens say that the said Guinea Ships touched on where on her passage and whether in particular she she ever touched on the coast of England answers that he did not, that he heard the said Stephens say the said ships with the negroes on board was bound to some part of America but he does not now remember to what part and   and that she was consigned to some Gentleman in America whose name he mentioned but this Depont does not now remember it. This Depont says further that the said Stephens was a Taylor by trade, that when he came on board the ship, as he has heard the said Stephens say being a smart active man, he was appointed steward of the ship, that being pleased with it the said Stephens, determined to abandon his trade and follow the Seas, that he the said Stephens to qualify himself for the Seas kept a book in which he kept a reckoning of their passage from England to this Country and set down in it every thing that happened on their passage which he Stephens called a Logbook. That Stephens when he first went to house keeping lived in a wooden house with a wooden chimney to it. That this house caught fire from the chimney and had liked to have been burned, the greater part of the gable end was burned. Stephens alarmed at this put his papers which he valued into a small trunk and requested Harrison Lane this Deponts father to let him leave this trunk of papers in his house for safe keeping which his father consented to. That this trunk with the papers remained in this Deponents possession long after the death of this Deponts father and the said Stephens, that this Depont has often amused himself with reading the said Stephens Log book above described and well recollects that in it was stated the very day and the latitude[?] in which Lord Baltimore went on board the Guinea Ship above mentioned and the circumstance of his buying these Negroes. That after some time this Log book was not much valued and was thrown about, the rats got at it and eat part of it the rest was destroyed and is not now in existance or to be found. Being asked if this John Stephens was a man of good character answers that he was a   a very good man, of very good character, was a man of very good learning, raised a large family and very made a very good living. And further this deponent says not

Sworn to before me a Justice of the Peace for Prince Georges County at Upper Marlbrough the day and year first above written
Saml Hepburn

10 3/4 sides

Ann[?] Joice family
Young & others

The Deposition of Samuel Lane

Filed 29 Oct 1802

No 2