Delmarva Settlers

Biographical Profiles
The Johnson Family: The Migratory Study of an
African-American Family on the Eastern Shore

By Ryan Charles Cox


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Chapter 5: The Johnsons and the Colonial Courts

Ultimately the colony was under the control of His Majesty James I a thousand miles away, but once the king granted the charter to the Virginia Company of London, it was promised that all who settled in the region would "enjoy all the liberties, franchises and immunities" of Englishmen "as if they had been abiding in England."[94] But the new environment in North America created unforeseen and unheard of circumstances found in England. Combined with the distance between the colonies and London, the number of offences, and the time that passed from incident to verdict made ruling the distant settlements would prove difficult and costly.

In 1606 when the charter was granted, King James I placed control of the colony's affairs with a council that reported and answered directly to him, so as not to divert his attention from the issues at hand in the English Parliament. This body was then to choose another council that stayed in Virginia and would enforce the administrations expressed by the King and maintain order in the colony. This residential council would be largely independent from Parliament and the Virginia Company, and would assume executive, legislative, and judicial control due to the isolation of settlements in the Chesapeake region.[95]

As the years passed, population grew, and settlements were made farther away from the seat of government at Jamestown. With the number of creeks and their branches that extended from the James River, there were endless possibilities for settlement locations virtually around every bend. This would require that the arm of the law reach every corner of settlement, and even though navigating on these waterways was accessible and relatively safe, participation in the courts at Jamestown was arduous.[96] By 1617, Governor Samuel Argall divided the colony into four provinces. The Eastern Shore was not one of these divisions even though there were settlements established there by this time; there was not enough of a population located there to become a main section of the colony. Each settlement, or borough, sent two Burgess representatives to Jamestown in the General Assembly, which met semi-annually in April and October, for up to eighteen days.[97] The Assembly listed all of the Burgesses and included the plantation they were from. This is the first and only time the Assembly provided this kind of information and listed the entire Eastern Shore of Virginia as a single borough.[98]

The General Assembly of 1624 expressed the view that since the settlements were reaching farther down the James River, the boroughs were to have their own monthly court that would hear the less demanding suits "not exceeding the value of one hundred pounds or tobacco and for punishing of petty offenses." This is the foundation for the formation of county courts, and it became important for plantations to be correctly labeled and surveyed so they could be organized in the proper jurisdiction. Rudimentary mariners' compasses and descriptions based on rough orientations to natural borders and landmarks would not suffice. Population called for these divisions, intended to act as the English shire model but they would be called counties.[99]

By 1642, there were several kinds of courts that administered justice in the counties growing west and north into wilderness. The most valuable and effective courts were the monthly courts held in each county. Ten unpaid justices presided over the cases brought forth, with vacancies and new county justices being named by the Governor. As few as ten pounds sterling could be at stake for a case to be heard without appeal, more expensive cases could be appealed to the General Court. All questions about life and limb were to be heard in the General Court.[100] Some of the tasks these county justices dealt with were the granting probates of wills, appraising estates, general debt and property damage, and recording the conveyance of land.

By the 1630s the Eastern Shore peninsula had become populous enough for a county court to be held and took the name Accomack in honor of the friendly native people that lived there. With continued growth, a second county named Northampton, was formed in 1662 and occupied the southern portion of the peninsula with Watkin's Point at the mouth of the Pocomoke River as its northern border and the Atlantic Ocean as its eastern border.[101]

Within the records of the monthly county courts is a wealth of information on The Johnsons. The Johnsons were involved in virtually every facet of life listed. They sued, were sued, bought and sold land, cattle, and tobacco, and were charged with crimes such as stealing, fornication, debt, and even murder. Were it not for the racial market that followed their name, it would be virtually impossible to follow the actions of the family.

But in most instances, the title "Negro" separates the individuals with a common surname, making it possible to pinpoint the personal and business relations the Johnson's held while living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The first recorded case involving the Johnsons is found in the Northampton County courts in September of 1653. Apparently John Johnson, the son of Anthony Johnson, sued John Johnson Sr., a local white man for unlawfully claiming a four hundred and fifty acre patent.[102] This was a part of the five hundred and fifty acre plot that was patented to John Johnson in 1652. The similar name obviously caused some confusion as to who owned the land in question. The white John Johnson, a neighboring planter and jointer, could have possibly tried to take advantage of the younger Johnson, a free black planter, due to his color and to challenge his position in the community.[103] But unfortunately for the white John Johnson, the free black Johnson presented the proper documents and proved he was the rightful owner of the plot. If John Johnson, Sr., could not present evidence to show otherwise by the next court, he was to release the plot, and pay the damages and court fees due.

This case is interesting to note since there is no evidence provided in the records that show Johnson was at any kind of legal disadvantage to the white planter, and was treated equally in the eyes of the court. John Johnson Sr., a white man, attempted to take land that belonged to an African, but according to the law and given the weight of the evidence provided, John Johnson was able to recover what was rightfully his. As valuable as land and property were to this society, one would go to great lengths to ensure that it was not taken from them by any means.

Anthony Johnson would be in a similar situation with a local planter, Mathew Pippen, over a parcel of land apparently delivered to Pippen from Johnson. "Ordered in the case of Nihill {Latin meaning "nothing"," it was ruled that Anthony Johnson must disprove Pippen's claim to the land by the next court or be prepared to lose the land and pay the court fees.[104] This decision, delivered on 18 January 1657, proved to be sufficient enough considering there was not another verdict or trial written during the next monthly court. It is amazing to witness the law at work during this time given the circumstances and the position that each individual held in the county. Truly blind to race, the justices apparently administered their verdicts without motivation or bias, and on the weight of the verdict brought before them alone. This would be hard to obtain by freed blacks as the colony grew in size and population, and the opportunities for blacks narrowed as the seventeenth century continued.

Anthony Johnson's other son Richard would not be as fortunate as his brother when it came to a charge brought against him in 1654. George Parker reported the young Johnson to the county court on the charge of fornication with the family's female servant, Mary Gersheen.[105] Fornication was considered a serious crime in the eyes of the courts. In marriage, children were welcomed and encouraged, but children between two single individuals could face severe consequences. The child would not be in a home that could properly provide for it, so the burden would then be placed on the county parish and church. Children obviously cost money. Since all who lived in the parish had to pay fees for various needs and funds, part of that money would be used to raise the illegitimate child. As noted above, the only relief would be if neighbors, family, or friends of the church gave personal funds to spare the entire county strain if tax money had to be earmarked for child rearing.

The minutes kept during these sessions range from obsessively detailed, to minuscule and virtually non-descriptive. The Johnsons owed money to a number of people throughout the seventeenth century; the only problem is that there are few details as to what the debts were being paid for in each case. Some are very terse, but some that have little written about them are surprisingly complete. For example, in 1663 Anthony Johnson owed to John Rany, the county surveyor, fifty. pounds of tobacco for not clearing the roads on his land.[106] But in two previous entries in December 1655, both Anthony and Richard Johnson owed over two hundred pounds of tobacco to local white planters without any recorded reason, making it impossible to understand the nature of the suit.[107] Some court cases are brought before the justices and then referred to the next court for a number of reasons. Reasons ranging from person's absence, insufficient evidence to prosecute, or new evidence to be reviewed, cases could last many months as a result. Richard Johnson in January of 1663 was in court with Richard Buckland, defendant, for the building of a house. There is no information to indicate where the house is located, who built it, or what the problem was with the structure. The court then decided to allow Mihill (most likely Michael) Ricketts and John Graves to judge the amount due.'08 Unfortunately, there is no outcome provided for this case in the following monthly court, or in any other court meeting thereafter; resulting in another lost chapter in the lives of these intriguing individuals.

Detail is crucial if researchers are to fully comprehend the kinds of lives that existed during this time. In 1653, Anthony Johnson was in a dispute with Lieutenant Thomas Hunt over the possession of a cow. The court then deferred the case to be examined by Captain Samuel Goldsmyth and Mr. Robert Parker. They were to locate the cow and determine who would be the rightful owner.[109] Unfortunately for researchers, there is no outcome to the case, but Anthony Johnson would be indebted to Capt. Goldsmyth for saving his property one year later.

In March of 1654, as Capt. Goldsmyth was at the Johnson home to pick up a hogshead of tobacco, Anthony's servant, a man named John Casar requested that Johnson release him from his indenture because it had long expired past the usual seven years. Johnson replied that he knew of no indenture and that Casar was to be his servant for life. Anthony Johnson's neighbors, George and Robert Parker, stated that they knew of another indenture for the said Casar to a planter on the other side of the bay. They continued to threaten Johnson with the loss of the servant's cattle if he were to deny him his freedom. Johnson, with the influence from his family, released the servant, and even went to see that John Casar received his freedom dues. Freedom dues are materials and supplies given to the freed person in order for them to start their new lives with the necessary materials. In the case of John Casar, clothing and corn.[110] But after careful reflection, Johnson was certain that Casar was his servant for life; a slave. Johnson then sued the Parker brothers for unlawfully taking his property from him, and since there were no other indentures for John Casar, he was returned to the Johnsons.[111]

There is abundant detail provided for a suit between Anthony Johnson, Colonel Edmund Scarborough, and William Chase in 1667. The initial entry reveals that Col. Scarborough paid Accomack county thirteen hundred and forty-four pounds of tobacco at the request, and for the amount due to William Chase. This happened to be the same amount due to Anthony Johnson from land that he sold to John Rowles and Morris Mathews two years earlier in Nandua Creek.[112] A month later the request was assessed and it turned out that Colonel Scarborough would sue Anthony Johnson for the same amount. Apparently Johnson expressed to the court that he owed Scarborough nothing, but a letter was presented that revealed Anthony Johnson was fully aware that he not only owed money to Col. Scarborough, but that his son John was indebted to him as well. The Johnson's were given until the next monthly court to disprove the letter. There were no follow-ups to this case after May 1667, so the Johnsons must have either indeed been indebted to Scarborough or made due the fee owed.[113] It seems that the Johnsons, as most settlers during this time, were in constant debt when it came to mortgage payments, rents for the land they occupied, or for any other various responsibilities. Anthony Johnson had to worry about a number of rents in both Virginia and Maryland simultaneously. Fortunately for him, the burden would provide stability and status for himself and for his family during these early years of settlement.

After the Johnsons moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, it seems that Anthony had a difficult time paying Stephen Horsey the one peppercorn yearly to stay on "Tonies Vineyard," because in September of 1666, Horsey sued Johnson for not paying his rent. Anthony Johnson had until the next monthly court to pay Horsey eighteen hundred pounds of tobacco to be collected on the 8th of October.[114] The payment was to be made on time and Johnson would provide the. tobacco "without ground leaves or seconds (leaves)." Although not labeled as being black, this is the first entry that places an African within the borders of the original Somerset County, Maryland; lying from the Nanticoke River south to the Maryland-Virginia boundary line, and from the Atlantic Ocean on the east, to the Chesapeake Bay on the west. There is however, an entry dated 2 July 1667 that states "Randall Revell enter. his action of debt against John Johnson, Negro."[115] This is believed to be the very first entry that places a man of African origin within the boundaries of the original Somerset County, let alone Maryland's Eastern Shore as a whole. It is only because of the explicit appositive "Negro" that allows researchers to be certain of the African origin in the region. But through other county records and historical documents, it is known that the Johnsons and other freed blacks were in the colony years prior to these entries. However, Anthony Johnson should officially receive the credit of being the first black involved in a legal action suit in Somerset County, not his son John.

It was not long after the Johnsons moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the 1660s that the Johnson sons were getting into trouble with the local authorities. In March 1668, John Johnson, along with John Richards and Alexander King, were arrested by Mr. Thomas Gillis and delivered to the house of Mr. John Winder under suspicion of stealing corn from the Katackeuweiticks, a local Manokin Indian tribe.[116 ] After being released on bail, the trial would be heard at the next county court. On 30 June 1668, all three men confessed to the crime of trespassing on the tribe's land, and once the "crop of corn is housed, they shall deliver two barrels of Indian corn to Manokin town to the king of Manokin for the Katackcuweitick's use and to pay all necessary court charges.[117] What is noteworthy about this time period is the court's ability to continue forward once charges and public matters were settled and resolved, for it was not but two years later that the word of John Johnson would be used in a case between Randall Revell and Richard Ackworth on a plea of trespassing.[118] It would seem that the young Johnson used his acclaimed surveying skills for both his own benefit, and for the benefit of justice when the time called.

As the years passed, and the grips of slavery began to develop, it would seem that John Johnson's race would soon be the focus of his worth instead of his expertise and ability in his craft. In August of 1670, John Johnson was called to give a deposition on another trespassing case in Somerset County, Maryland. The court entry writes that Johnson was asked if he was baptized, which he was, and if he understood what an oath was and meant, which he did. It put his age at thirty-seven years, giving researchers the only proof of the ages of Anthony Johnson's children; in this case, John Johnson was born sometime around 1633. The deposition stated that Johnson heard and saw Robert Wright run along the back creek and by a marked tree in the old fields by Thomas Davis's land, adjacent to a plot owned by Col. Scarborough.[119] There was no follow up to the case in future records, but what is important is that during the second half of the seventeenth century, in Maryland, you begin to see the changes in society given that just years before, the word of the Johnson's would not have been slighted by their race.

In Accomack County, John's brother Richard would not hear his name in court for as serviceable a cause. In 1677, Christopher Thompson arrested and sued Richard Johnson for failure to pay rent on the land sold to him four years earlier. Richard then gave the land to his sons, Francis and Richard Jr. Unfortunately for Thompson, Richard Johnson was relieved of the payment since no petition was filed. However, a month later, Thompson continued to seek his rent and arrested Richard Johnson for two other acts of debt. The case was then referred to the next monthly court but to no avail, for the suit brought about no outcome.[120]

Apparently many cases were dismissed involving the Johnsons because there was no proof or sufficient documentation presented for evidence to the offense. In 1679, Mary Johnson, relict of Anthony Johnson, gave orders for her attorney in Accomack County, Mr. Edward Revell, to arrest John Rowles. But unfortunately while living in Somerset County, Mary Johnson's attorney could not produce the proper documents to prosecute the case. The suit was immediately dismissed leaving Mary Johnson to pay all court costs and fees.[121]

As Mary Johnson's grandchildren Francis and Richard Jr. grew up in Virginia, they lived much as their father Richard had, involving themselves in a number of trades and activities, and even a number of times finding themselves in trouble. One of the more positive entries found in the Accomack County Court Records, Major Edmund Bowman sued local planters John Cole, John Pettijohn, and Alexander Dunn, for unlawfully killing his hogs. Richard Johnson Jr. was with the men and was hired to kill five of the hogs that were on the Cole plantation. Johnson's deposition suggested that none of the hogs had Cole's mark on them that were to be saved as evidence for the slaughter. The deposition of Elizabeth Terry expressed that she saw the ears and feet of the animal in Cole's home and was then ordered to bury them with Mary Cole, John Cole's wife. Terry said that the ears were cropped in both ears and a hole in the left. Considering that this was taken two years prior, the verdict found the men not guilty due to lack of credible evidence.[122]

Another suit reveals that even the father, Richard Johnson Sr., had a hard time controlling his sons in Virginia. In the fall of 1681, Richard Johnson Sr. had to take his son, Richard Jr., to court for a reason not given. The court case was eventually dismissed without reason, leaving yet another mystery for researchers to ponder over.[123] Whatever the reason may have been, this was not a good sign that the young Johnson's children were behaving as theft grandparents would have preferred. Richard Johnson Jr. was involved in a court case with John West on an action of debt in March of 1682, but was immediately relieved of his responsibility after the county sheriff arrested him.[124]

That was a time when one would actually be thankful they were in jail, as it protected him financially; but he would not be as lucky six years later. In June 1688, Richard Johnson Jr. was hired by Mr. Adam Michael to complete a large task, but given that there was no evidence that the work was done, he was fined five thousand pounds of tobacco due immediately to Mr. Michael.[125] The entry does not inform the reader what the job was, nor the arguments presented by either party. Two years later, Richard Johnson Jr.'s brother Francis would be in a similar case when he was ordered to pay Thomas Simson forty-five hundred pounds of tobacco from an original six thousand pound debt to be paid over two years time.[126] Again, no detail is provided, and only questions about the nature of the case remain. As the eighteenth century closed in on the Johnsons, their path gets much more difficult to trace, especially with incomplete entries as the one listed above had they been more complete could provide information about the professional life of the third generation of Johnson's on the peninsula, and northward into Delaware by the 1680s.

The records that have survived from the lower Delaware county of Sussex portray the Johnsons as a struggling family in constant debt and involvement in mischievous acts. The very first record found in the Sussex County records on 14 February 1681 reveals that John Johnson Sr. was sued by Norton Claypoole in an action of debt and was ordered to repay the planter along with the court fees.[127] A year after this entry, John Johnson Jr. was in a dire situation in March 1682 when upon the petition of William Footcher, the young Johnson was ordered to pay five hundred pounds of tobacco, plus another hundred in order to save himself from corporal punishment for a crime not listed.[128] This is all of the information provided by the records, leaving researchers with only conjecture as to what crime could have been deserving of such a harsh decision. But this would be minute in comparison to the trial that his father, John Johnson Jr., would face the following year in Delaware.

On 12 April 1683, John Johnson Sr. was brought before the court under suspicion of killing his wife. The court decided to allow twelve women to examine the body of the deceased Susan Johnson. After the chosen women viewed Mrs. Johnson, and with the deposition of Jeffery Summerford, there appeared to be no signs of rape, rope beating, or any kind of physical abuse, thus clearing John Johnson from all charges.[129] This is the most severe situation that is available concerning any of the Johnsons. Although the murder of Susan Johnson was never solved, it seems that John Johnson's reputation in the community was not tainted considering that he, along with his son John, were deponents in a suit concerning "the meat of a sow" between Andrew Depree and John Oaky in February of 1684.[130] One may conclude that once Johnson was released of the charges of murder, either the community found the cause of her death, found the actual killer, or left the case unsolved. Be that as it may, no written record is available to support these possibilities over any others.

Concerning the remaining records describing the actions taken by the Johnsons, they were as normal and familiar as the actions of those around them. Despite this, John Johnson Jr. would not be rewarded in the county for his actions with William Futcher in 1689. In February of that year, the. young Johnson was sentenced to serve Mr. Futcher for nine years in the craft of carpentry. This was most likely an unwanted assignment considering the harsh schedule that an apprentice must keep in order to master the trade. However, the reluctant Johnson was relieved of his duty with the untimely death of Mr. Futcher one year later.[131] This would not be an isolated incident where John Johnson Jr. would be involved with the county courts and his given assignments. In September of 1698, John Johnson Jr. was caught running away from his owner and ordered to serve five extra months for fleeing, and two more months were added for the loss of forty-four shillings worth of labor.[132]

Though the Johnsons were gifted in many crafts and talents, for some jobs, they needed the help of their neighbors. In September 1691, John Johnson was to deliver one cow and calf for the work performed by George Davis and Daniel Hilliar.[133] Not surprising for some of the less valued tasks and suits, little information was written about the nature of the act. However, the following year, there is an entry that accuses John Johnson of stealing a hog from Joseph Roe. The entry not only lists the crime, but also gives researchers an idea as to how much livestock was worth during the 1690s, as John Johnson was ordered to pay Mr. Roe 3 immediately.[134]

John Johnson would not be a stranger to owing and paying his neighbors, but in 1694, Mary Johnson petitioned against her son for not taking care of her estate and performing basic maintenance chores. John Johnson responded to withholding sundry goods and cattle and was ordered to deliver a mare and a cow to his mother.[135] During that same month, both Mary and her son John Johnson were ordered to deliver a cow and a mare to Mary Oaky to fulfill an acquired debt.[136] There is no description on what the animals looked like or their cattlemarks to indicate if these were the same animals that the son was ordered to give to his mother just days prior.

By the end of the seventeenth century, all of the Johnson's made their way north into Delaware. There is a record that places Richard Johnson in the southern portion of the state close to his family. Unfortunately, the entry accused Richard of stealing a mare from William Faucet of Somerset County, Maryland in 1699. Richard claims that he took the mare clearly by mistake and immediately returned the animal to its rightful owner.[137]

While Richard Johnson Sr. was in Delaware, his son Richard Jr. was having major, but not unfamiliar problems in Accomack County, Virginia. Richard Johnson Jr. was accused of having a child out of wedlock with a woman named Elizabeth Pharis in 1695. The young woman confessed that the child belonged to the mulatto while delivering the baby in the home of Captain Thomas Welbourne. The law states, in an act passed in 1691, that any free woman who gave birth to a bastard child from a negro or mulatto man would pay the church 15 sterling to cover the cost for the raising the child. But according to Elizabeth Pharis and her attorney, she was a married woman at the time, and with John Martiall to provide security plus 30 sterling to assure Pharis' appearance at the next court.'38 Four months later, Elizabeth Pharis provided the testimony of two witnesses that claimed she was married at the time the child was born, freeing her from paying any fines.[139] This is the last definite record available for any of the Johnsons on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

As the eighteenth century approached, the court records provide few clear entries that include this historic family. The most beneficial luxury that researchers found when tracing the Johnson family was the moniker "Negro" alongside it. After 1704, there were no Johnsons found in court records with that racial label, making it nearly impossible to trace the movements of the family any further. In that year, John Johnson, at eighty years of age, old, free, poor, and too weak to work, was provided lodging, diet, and clothing at seven pounds, fifteen shillings per year. The following entries are just as sad as this one, for William Stephens paid fifty shillings to keep the "old, free Negro." The very next entry in the court docket states that John Johnson relegated to public charity that Richard Laws agreed to care for the man the rest of his life.[140] It was a shameful and disappointingly common ending for such a special individual to be passed around in the fashion that he was at the end of his life, and not be alongside his family or friends.

One must understand that all the information that is available about this extraordinary family is what was recorded in these county courts through the peninsula. If the Johnsons had not been listed as plaintiffs, defendants, or provided depositions about a particular case, they would be invisible to modern day researchers. The importance of these records is priceless when examining the ordinary settlers that braved the uncharted wilderness in order to make a name the families. The entries create a picture riddled with debts, court cases, crimes, and accusations involving the Johnsons. But it is through these entries that the underlying characters are revealed and demonstrate the amount of importance and interest this family had with their neighbors on the peninsula. It is most likely due to their varied abilities, skills and positions in the community that brought the Johnsons to the county courthouse so many times; some verdicts in their favor, but as the reader should note, the family lost a number of these suits as well. But even the most wealthy and powerful of settlers on the Eastern Shore were in debt throughout their lives, whether they owned fifty acres or fifty thousand acres. Researchers should not be fascinated with this family because of their never-ending battle in court, but should conclude from the cases that they were extremely active and important in the first century of development in the Chesapeake Bay region and should be studied, known, and recognized.


94 Thomas J. Wertenbaker, The Government of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (Williamsburg, VA: Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration Corporation, 1957), 1. Written for the Jamestown 350th Anniversary, Historical Booklet Number 16.

95 Ibid., 3-4.

96 Martha W. Hiden, How Justice Grew: Virginia Counties, An Abs tract of their formation ( Williamsburg, VA: Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration Corporation, 1957), 1. Written for the Jamestown 350th Anniversary Historical Booklet, number 19.

97 Ibid., 9.

98 Ibid., 2.

99 Ibid., 3.

100 Ibid., 7-9.

101 Ibid., 15.

102 Northampton County, 165 1-1654, folio 200.

103 Breen and Innes, Myne Owne Ground, 92-93.

104 Northampton County, 1657-1664, folios 1-2, 16. Non-suit.

105 Northampton County Deeds, Wills, & etc., Numbers 7-8, 1655-1668, folio 21.

106 Accomack County, Deeds, Wills, and Orders, 1663-1671, folio 4a.

107 Northampton County Court Orders, Volume 6, Number 6, 1655-1656, folio 22. Richard owed 400 pounds of tobacco to blacksmith Devorax Godwyn, to be paid within 30 days, on 28 Dec 1655. The second entry, 6 April 1659, Anthony Johnson, owed 200 pounds of tobacco to Mr. Edmond Mathews, deceased, found in Northampton County, 1657-1664, folio 45.

108 Accomack County, 1663-167 1, folio 54a.

109 Northampton County, 165 1-1654, folio 205.

110 Northampton County Deeds, Wills, & etc., Number 5,1654-1655, folio 35.

111 Northampton County, 1651-1654, folio 226.

112 Accomack County Court Order, 1666-1670, folio 16a.

113 Ibid., 18a.; and Ibid., 37.

114 J. Hall Pleasant, ed., Archives of Maryland, LIV, Liber B, No. 1, 28.

115 Ibid., 74.

116 Ibid., 111.

117 Ibid., 116.

118 John Johnson, Order, 1670, Somerset County Courthouse, Princess Anne, Maryland (microfilm, CR 44, 861, Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland), folio 5. No decision.

119 Ibid., folio 10

120 Accomack County Court Orders, 1676-1678, folio 66. For entry on arrest of Johnson, see Ibid., folio 84, entry dated 14 October 1677.

121 Accomack County Court Records, 1678-1682, folio 154.

122 Ibid., folio 287-88, entry dated 5 August 1681.

122 Ibid., folio 268, entry dated 17 November 1681.

124 Accomack County Wills, Orders, & etc., 1682-1697, folios 10, 12.

125 Ibid., folio 134.

126 Ibid., folio 187. Entry dated 18 June 1690.

127 John Johnson, Sr., Order, 1681, in CITES. Turner ed., Some Records Of Sussex County, Delaware (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1989), 63. Four years later, the two would be involved in another dispute, where John Johnson, Negro, would have to pay Norton Claypoole 40 shillings, 8 'A pence, and two hundred and sixty-eight pounds of tobacco on 8 Dec 1685. Found in Hone, Records of the Courts of Sussex County, DE, 365.

128 Ibid., 68.

129 Ibid., 103, 110.

130 Horle, Records of the Courts of Sussex County, DE, 260.

131 Ibid., 635. For the entry concerning the death of William Futcher, see Ibid., 673. Entry dated 4 Feb 1690.

132 Ibid., 1069.

133 Ibid., 797.

134 Ibid., 857-58.

135 Horle, Records of the Courts of Sussex, County, DE, 909-10. For the entry giving the verdict, see Ibid., 919.

136 Ibid., 919.

137 Ibid., 1110.

138 Accomack County Court Orders, 1690-1697, folio 152a-153.

139 Ibid., folio 173-173a.

140 Horle, Records of the Courts of Sussex County, DE, 18-19, 1194, 1201.

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