Charles Mahoney v. John Ashton. Deposition of Samuel Douglass


The Deposition of Samuel Douglass of Ann Arundle County aged forty nine years and upwards taken this 10th day of April 1801 in presence of Truman Tyler Attorney for the Petitioners and John Thomson Mason Attorney of the Owners to be by consent read in evidence on the trial of sundry Petitions for freedom now depending in Prince George's County Court, brought by sundry persons who claim their freedom as being descended in the maternal line from Ann Joice who was brought into Maryland by Lord Baltimore, which said Ann Joice the Petitioners alledge was entitled to her freedom and was unjustly detained in Slavery

The said Samuel Douglass being first duly sworn on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God deposeth and saith; that he was acquainted with two women [strikethrough] both widows the one named Ratcliffe who lived in Blue Shirt Neck the other named Sarah Cooly who lived and died in Ann Arundel County upon My Lords Manner near Pigpoint, they both lived to be very old women and are both dead Mrs Cooly about three years & Mrs Ratcliffe about five or six years, that he knew Mrs Ratcliffe two or three years he knew Mrs Cooly very well he lived some time in the same house with her. That he was present when about six seven years ago this Whitsuntide when a Negro Man, who he thinks said he belonged to one Warren, came to this Mrs Cooly & Mrs Ratcliffe who were then together to know if they could give him any account of Ann Joice, or give any evidence that would entitle her family to their freedom. Mrs Cooly told him that Ann Joice was a Guinea Negro, and that he had no more right to his freedom than her old negro woman Casss daughter Peg. Mrs Ratcliffe then asked Mrs Cooly if Ann Joice was a Guinea Negro how did she come by the name of Joice? Mrs Cooly replied she knew nothing about it except what she had heard from her Uncles husbands Uncle, who was an Englishman and came into this Country about the same time that   that Lord Baltimore did. That she had often heard him say that Lord Baltimore at Sea on his passage to this Country, bought three Guinea Negroes from on board of a Ship and that they were the cleverest Guinea Negroes he ever saw. That two of three were men and one of them a woman; that Lord Baltimore called the woman Ann and the men Robin and Will. That a Sailor on board the ship in which Lord Baltimore sailed by the name of Joice took a great liking to Ann and was very intimate with her and that the other sailors on that account called her Ann Joice, that it was from this she took the name of Joice. And this Depont further saith that Mrs Cooly further observed that she had also heard her husbands Uncle say that when Lord Baltimore returned to England he either gave or sold these Negroes to Col Darnall. And further this Deponent saith not

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


5 1/2

Joice Family
Young & others

The Deposition of Saml Douglass

Filed 29 Oct 1802

No 1.