AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Court Records, Maclin, Jones
Court records from the eighteenth and nineteenth century sometimes read like present-day TV court shows.
Free African American Matthew Ashby died in York County about 1771. His widow Ann married George Jones with whom she had a short, unhappy marriage [according to the Colonial Williamsburg website which does not give a source or further details].
George was probably born about 1725 since he was involved in lawsuits in York County as early as 1746 with a free African American named Joseph Cannady. From 1763 to 1770 he was involved in court suits with the free African American Gillet, Poe, and Freeman families.
He may have been the George Jones who was in Halifax County, Virginia, in 1775 with Lucretia Macklin, who was also from York County.
He appeared in Halifax County court on 20 April 1775 to answer the complaint of his servant Mary Scandling. The court released her from his service after determining that he was a "free Mulatto" and had purchased her indenture. However, two years later on 20 February 1777 the court ordered the churchwardens to bind Mary's son Macklin Scandling to George. Mary Scandling died before 19 November 1778 when Lucretia Macklin was charged with her murder. At Lucretia's hearing, George deposed that
"he was riding on the road with Mary Scandling the deceased person behind him and met the prisoner Lucretia Macklin who insulted him with opprobrious language and pick'd up a stick about the size of his arm and offer'd to strike which this deponent endeavour'd to fend off with his arm, but doth not know whether she struck the deceas'd on which the stick broke, on which this deponent got off his horse and went to the prisoner, in which time the deceas'd was off the horse and walk'd about thirty yards and sat down and call'd to this deponent to come to her for she was dying. And this deponent went to the deceas'd and took hold of her and she appear'd to be fainting. This deponent ask'd her to go, she reply'd she was not able, and lay there until she dy'd" [Pleas 1774-79, 109, 193, 379].
Lucretia Maclin was sent to Williamsburg for further trial but was probably found not guilty since she was counted in the 1782 census in Richmond City [VA:111].
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