Lucinda: Freedom Suit, Fauquier County (Part 3 of 4)
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Virginia: At a Circuit Court of Fauquier County, held on the 17th day of May 1852. Be it remembered, that heretofore, to wit, at a Circuit Court held for the said county, on the 12th day of May 1852, Lucinda, and her daughter Maria, by counsel, presented to the Court their bill in Chancery against Christopher Neale, administrator with the will annexed of John R. Wallace deceased, and others, and moved the Court to award them such injunction as is prayed for in said bill; but the Court overruled the said motion because the bill is not verified by affidavit and because the Court is not otherwise satisfied of the plaintiff's equity. The said bill, and the exhibits filed with it, are in the words and figures following. To the Hon: Jno: W. Tyler, Judge of the Circuit Court of Fauquier County - Humbly complaining shew unto your Honor your petitioners Lucinda and her daughter Maria that "conceiving that they were unlawfully detained as slaves" by Christopher Neale admor with the will annexed of Jno: R. Wallace decd. they made their complaint of said unlawful detention to Jno: A. Spilman a justice of the peace of Fauquier County on the 1st day of March 1852 who thereupon issued his warrant of that date "giving them in charge of the Sheriff of said county to be produced before the Circuit Court thereof at the next term thereof." The said warrant or precept together with the return of the sheriff endorsed thereon, are prayed to be taken as a part hereof marked A. The complts further state that on the first day of the circuit court next after the date of said precept they made their petition to said court for leave to sue therein for their freedom, and the court thereupon assigned them as counsel Thos. S. Moore and Edward M. Spilman attorneys practising therein to aid them in the presentation of their suit: The Petitioners farther [further] state that their said counsel in performance of the duty imposed upon them by the act of assembly prepared and filed with the Clerk of the said court a statement of the facts of the petitioners case, together with their opinion thereon, which statement and the exhibit therewith, they pray may be taken as a part hereof marked B. C. In that statement & exhibit they shew the duly authenticated will of Jno: R. Wallace their late master & owner, in which by an unequivocal clause their said owner emancipated them and they show partly from facts within the knowledge of their counsel and partly from facts which their counsel have gathered from the information of others and which they believe to be susceptible of proof, that the assetts of the estate of the testator will prove abundantly sufficient to discharge the debts of the said testator with out encroaching upon the value of the petitioners, or requiring their sale for the payment of debts, and as it did not "manifestly appear therefrom that the suit ought not to be prosecuted," they entertained the hope that Christopher Neale admor as aforesaid" the person claiming to be their owner would be summoned to answer their petition." Your honor having decided that your petitioners have not complied with the terms of the law in such manner as to entitle them to the summons aforesaid, because in the form of proceeding as above recited it is impossible to ascertain whether the assetts of the estate will justify the administrator in discharging the petitioners from the detention complained of, and having at the same time