New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy

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Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy

A previous blog posting told the story of Ann, otherwise known as Nancy, who was a black slave owned by Caleb Jones who lived at the mouth of the Nashwaak River across from Fredericton. Jones’ right to own Ann was challenged in the New Brunswick Supreme Court through a writ of habeas corpus in the case of R v. Jones in 1801.

Some additional information about Caleb Jones has come to light and is presented here as a supplement to the previous posting.

Jones was a resident of Maryland whose politics came under suspicion during the American Revolution. He was brought before a revolutionary committee in 1776 and was required to post a bond and to promise to obey all orders of the Continental Congress. He then went to New York and joined the Maryland Loyalist Regiment as a captain.

Jones received a leave from his regiment and went to New Brunswick with two slaves he had bought in Long Island. This was before the 1783 evacuation of New York. He later received the grant on the Nashwaak and, in 1785, he returned to Maryland where he bought seven more slaves. Upon his return, the first two slaves had escaped. He went to Maryland again in 1786 but discovered that there was nothing he could do to collect his debts in the new republic. The following document tells most of the story:

The memorial of Caleb Jones Captain in His Majesty’s late regiment of Maryland Loyalists humbly sheweth, That some time previous to the evacuation of New York by the British troops, your memorialist received six months leave of absence from the commander-in-chief for the purpose of exploring this land on the river St. John in the Province of New Brunswick, and at the same time purchased two negro slaves on Long Island in the State of New York in order to make an immediate settlement on such land as might fall to his share upon a distribution to the different regiments disbanded  in said province. That in drawing by classes your memorialist drew letter D No. 4 in the Parish of St. Mary’s in the County of York, by which draft he was entitled to a choice of land and chose that on which he now lives. That your memorialist having placed two slaves upon the land making such improvements as time would admit in the spring of 1785 chartered a vessel and sailed for Maryland where owing to the good conduct of Mrs. Jones Your memorialist’s wife, during his absence for eight years and upwards in active employment for Government, he understood that some part of the property had been preserved from the ravages of war, among which were ten or twelve slaves, … found it expedient to leave Mrs. Jones in Maryland for the purpose of collecting to-gether such of his scattered property as could be found, and immediately returned to this province without any property but a few slaves, for whom on his arrival in St. John he applied for the usual allowance of provisions, but was unsuccessful in his application, and that the slaves that he had left in possession during his absence, went off. That in the following year your memorialist again sailed for Maryland for the purpose of bringing his family and such property as he believed might have been collected. Upon his landing in that country he was arrested and obliged to pay a sum of money which he did not owe, when at the same time his agent had been incapable of securing part of his debts due to Your memorialist. That your memorialist was under the necessity of paying a large sum of money for a vessel to convey him to this Province where he set himself down in the wilderness with a large family, few of whom were capable of labour. Your Memorialist humbly prays to Your Excellency in consideration of his loyalty and good faith to the British Government, of the large sums of money amounting to £150 for the charter of vessels in order to settle his family in this Province, of his losses in consequence of his not being able to recover debts in the United States amounting to £1000, of his losses in stores and cash amounting to 40 guineas on board the ship Martha wrecked in her passage to this Province with the late regiment of Maryland Loyalists, and above all in consideration of his having paid a sum of £75 for three lots above set forth … will be pleased to order a grant to be made out to Your memorialist of 1,250 acres adjacent the rear of the land granted to him in the Parish of St. Mary’s

Caleb Jones

Feb. 22nd, 1802, Fredericton


Written by johnwood1946

September 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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