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Hannah: Freedom Suit, Arlington County (Part 1 of 3)

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And this respondent admits that the said Rebecca never did receive any deed of emancipation from the said Stephen West, and departed this life soon after the expiration of the said term of the service of the said Charles Jackson, but why such a deed was withheld from the said Rebecca this respondent does not know. It is also admitted that the said Rebecca left two children by the said Charles, the complainants Hannah & Peggy, but this respondent does not know, and therefore does not admit that it was agreed by and between, the said Stephen West and the said Charles Jackson, that the said Charles Jackson should serve the said Stephen West for another term of seven years, & that in consideration of such service the said Stephen should emancipate his two children the said Hannah & Peggy, or that the said Charles did in execution of the said last mentioned agreement faithfully serve the said Stephen West for the second term of seven years. And wholly denies that the said Hannah and Peggy were in pursuance of such an agreement or for any other cause, discharged by the said Stephen West from his service, or were supported by their said father or that any deed of emancipation was ever executed to them by the said Stephen West & this respondent therefore concludes that they were never entitled to such a deed. And further answering this respondent admits that the complainant Rebecca is a child of the said Hannah, and that the complainants Milly Arnold, Sophia, Hannah, William and Robert are the children of the said Peggy, but this respondent having no knowledge as before stated of the pretended agreement between the said Stephen West and the said Charles Jackson or for the emancipation of the said Hannah and Peggy does not admit that the said children were born after the said Hannah and Peggy became entitled to their freedom under the said contract. It is also admitted that the said Charles Jackson and the said Stephen West, have both departed this life, but this respondent wholly denies that he has been duly qualified as the administrator of the will annexed of the said Stephen West, and states that the said will was adjudged to be invalid in Prince George's County Court and that he therefrom took out letters of administration on the personal estate of the said Stephen West but that no assets have as yet come to his hands in that character nor does he believe that any ever will. And this respondent further admits that after the death of the said Stephen West he seized the complainants as his own proper slaves and sold them to a Southern trader, but states that he did not do this as administrator of the said Stephen West, but claiming said slaves, under a bill of sale from the said Stephen West to this respondent & a certain Benjamin Oden for a full fair