Dicey: Chancery Cause, Halifax County
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To the Honorable Judge of the Circuit Court for the county Halifax Humbly complaining sheweth unto your Honor your Oratrix Dicey -- a free negroe woman -- that a certain Craddock Vaughn late of the county of Halifax Va departed this life some time in the year 1850 having duly made & published his last will & testament bearing date the 23 day of Sept 1850 & that the said will was duly admitted to probate on the 23 day of Dec 1850 & is of record in the clerks office of the county court of Halifax Co. Va And your Oratrix would further shew unto your Honor that she had been the slave of the testator until his death, but that the said testator by his said will emancipated your Oratrix & seven other of his slaves to wit his negroe woman Eleanor & her six children Fanny, Susan, William, America, Sally & Margaretta & after directing first that his just debts should be paid the said testator devised & bequeathed his entire estate to a certain Geo. W. Purkins & Nathaniel Watkins in trust for the benefit of your Oratrix [illegible] other negroes above named as will more fully appear by reference to a copy of the said will herewith filed marked (A) & prayed to be taken as a part of this Bill. And your Oratrix would further shew that the said testator directed in his said will that the said Geo. W. Purkins & Nathl Watkins whom he appoints his Executors & Trusties should with the estate, thus left in trust with them provide her with a home & allow her annually a "comfortable support until her death" And she would further shew that the said Nathl Watkins refused to qualify as Executor after said will & that the said Geo W Purkins one of the Executors therein named alone qualified as such on the 22 day of Sept 1851 in the County Court of Halifax County Va. And your Oratrix charges that although the provisions made by the testator in his said will for her benefit were thus [explicitilly or inplicitilly?] liberal nevertheless she has been restricted & embarrassed in its enjoyment. that the said Geo. W. Purkins in the exercise of his discretion & doubtless in what appears to him to be the conscientious discharge of his duty so construes the will of the said testator as to deprive your oratrix of that support which she is advised the said testator clearly designed that she should have. Being