Reuben: Chancery Cause, Bedford County
Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.
To the worshipful the Justices of the County Court of Bedford in chancery sitting. The Bill of Complaint of your Orators and Oratrices Reuben, Jacob, Jenny and Mary emancipated slaves lately belonging to the estate of John Neal deceased respectfully represent unto your Worships, that many years ago John Neal of this County departed this life having made and published his last will and testament in which he lent to his wife Patty Neal all his property real and personal during her natural life and and directed that after her death that all his slaves should be immediately emancipated and made free from slavery, and also gave all his property both real and personal that might be remaining at the death of his wife Patty Neal to his said slaves and their natural increase known then by the following names to wit Tom Jenny Jim Milly Reuben Mary and Lucy to them and lawful increase to be equally distributed among them. Your Orators and Oratrices further represent to your Worships that a portion of the above named slaves that were thus directed to be emancipated have died and the following persons and now living and their increase who were entitled to freedom under the said will to wit your orators and oratrices above named and John an infant son of Jenny, and Martha, William, and Ann who are infant children of Mary. Your Orators and Oratrices further represent unto your worships that the said Patty Neal has departed this life some time during this year and that her and David Saunders were appointed the Executors of the said last will and testament of John Neal deceased both of whom are now dead. that William Terry has been appointed administrator with the will annexed and that he has assented to the Legacy of freedom bequeathed in the said last will and testament. Your Orators and Oratrices further represent unto your worships that the real estate of the said John Neal which has been thus divided to them consists of a