Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Lucy Hall (b. circa 1794 - d. ?)
MSA SC 5496-050637
War of 1812 Escaped Slave, St. Mary's County, Maryland

Biography:

On Sunday, February 19, 1815, twenty-one-year-old Lucinda Hall and six others left their enslavement on George Loker's farm and boarded the British frigate Havannah.1 She escaped with six others, including Leah Hantes, Margaret Clem and her three daughters, and Hall's daughter Letty Hall. Lucy's husband, Jacob Hall, a slave of Robert Dunkinson, had already escaped to the ship when she and her daughter came on board.2 All seven slaves were transferred to the Orlando on February 27, 1827.3 Four of Hall's fellow slaves—Margaret Clem and her three daughters—were listed among slaves who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 1815 and 1818.4

Although Hall did not appear on the list, she and her family survived the journey and settled in Nova Scotia. Lucy and Jacob Hall worked "as cook and gardener on the shipping magnate Sir William Cunard’s estate at Hantsport in the Annapolis Valley." They later moved to Horton, where their son William Hall (c. 1827 - 1904) was born.5

William Hall served as "a merchant seaman, a U.S. Navy Seaman, and a Petty Officer, British Royal Navy" in the Crimean War.6 He made three historical firsts on October 28, 1859 when he became the first black person, the first Nova Scotian, and the first Canadian sailor to receive the Victoria Cross.7 He was awarded the Cross for his courage during the attack on the Shah Nujjiff Fort, India, on November 16, 1857. The attack occurred during the Siege of Lucknow, during the Indian Mutiny.8 Sir Noel Salmon, an admiral and a fellow V.C. recipient, wrote in a letter that during the siege that "Hall continued sponging and loading after all the other members of the gun's crew were shot down... He was a fine powerful man and as steady as a rock under fire."9
 



Footnotes

1.     Claim of George Loker, Case 121, Case Files, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, documenting the period ca. 1814 - ca. 1828, *ARC Identifier 1174160 / MLR Number PI 177 190,* National Archives, College Park.
     Definitive List of Slaves and Property, compiled ca. 1827 - ca. 1828, ARC Identifier 1174162 / MLR Number PI 177 192, National Archives, College Park.
     ST. MARY'S COUNTY, COMMISSIONERS OF THE TAX, (Assessment Record, Slaves), 1813 [MSA C1544-34], George Loker, St. Inigoe's District, March 16, 1813,
     U.S. Census Bureau (Census Record, MD) for George Loker, 1810, St. Mary's County, Page 26, 4th line from bottom [MSA SM61-56, M 2061-3].

2.     Claim of George Loker.

3.     Thomas M. Bayly, No. III, Bayly's List (RG 76. Records of Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitration. Records of the Mixed Claims Commission: Miscellaneous Records) 107, 112.

4.     "Halifax List," African Nova Scotians: in the Age of Slavery and Abolition, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/.

5.     Arthur Bishop, "Canada And The Victoria Cross: Of Rebellion and Rescue: Part 2 of 18." Legion Magazine. 1 March 2004. http://www.legionmagazine.com/en/index.php/2004/03/canada-and-the-victoria-cross-of-rebellion-and-rescue-2/.

6.     Peter Hanes, "Selected International (Canada-USA-UK) Black Historical Educational, Commemorative, Cultural Heritage Preservation and Cultural Heritage Tourism Opportunities-2001 to 2018."

7.     "William Hall." Black History Canada. http://blackhistorycanada.ca/profiles.php?themeid=20&id=6.
7.     "William Hall (1829-1904)." African Nova Scotians: in the Age of Slavery and Abolition. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/africanns/archives.asp?ID=152.
7.     "William Hall, V.C." Nova Scotia Museum. http://museum.gov.ns.ca/infos/hall.htm.
7.     John N. Grant, The Immigration and Settlement of the Black Refugees of the War of 1812 in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Dartmouth: The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, 1990) 110.
7.     Bishop.

8.     Philip Aveling Wilkins, The History of the Victoria Cross (London, UK: Archibald Constable & Co., 1904) 141.
8.     Catherine Reef, African Americans in the Military (New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc., 2010) 131.

9.     Qtd. in D. Mills, "Hall, William, V.C." Acadiensis 8.1 (1908) 32.
 

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