Lucinda: Freedom Suit, Fauquier County (Part 3 of 4)
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indicated that a bill in equity only, and not the proceedings before mentioned will procure the desired summons to answer the petition. These petitioners pray that this present statement may be taken as their bill in equity and as the statement of their counsel sets forth that they have not & could not officially but only informally learned that the admr resists their claim to freedom on the ground of insufficiency of assetts and as the statement aforesaid negatives the truth of any such pretense, and leaves the subject still more uncertain as to the ground or pretense which the admor will assume for his unlawful detention of the petitioners, they pray that a summons may issue requiring the said Christopher Neale admr as aforesd to appear and answer their petition and declare on oath, for what cause it is that he detains them as slaves contrary to the will of which he is the admor and that if he shall answer and say that it is for insufficiency of assetts that he will say so upon oath and afford to the petitioners the usual means of shewing that such is not the fact - and that in the meantime your Honor will adopt such means to protect them that they may be forthcoming to abide the judgment of the Court, which without your honors interposition they are utterly helpless to do of themselves and finally that your honor regarding the "merit of the petition and the imbecility of the petitioners will not confine them to the rigid rules of proceeding" which their counsel by a misconstruction of the act of assembly no doubt mistook," that your Honor will not repudiate their claim as long as a possible chance exists of a successful issue, that your honor will only determine agt the paupers in the last resort and after every possible source of redemption should be found to have failed" that you will grant unto your petitioners every other relief not specially prayed for, that may seem meet & equitable "to which end they pray the Comths most gracious summons or writ of subpoena which so ever of them your Honor deemed most proper. Moore & Spilman pq. The petitioners within named upon the intervention of the Court that the creditors mentioned in the Shff's return in the warrant refered to in the bill should be made party defendt in this case do with leave of the Court amend their said bill and pray that this their amendment thereof may be taken as part of their said bill. Their said amendment here follows. The first exor in the sheriffs return stated is in the name of Wm. R. Smith admor de bonis non of Elizth Wallace (for the use of R. H. Foote) agt [against] the goods & chattles of Jno: R. Wallace decd in the hands of Christopher Neale his admor for $325 with Int 21 Sepr 1833 and $5.90 costs. The next & only other execution is in the name of Lucien Dade agt the same for $885 Int on $150 from 1st Octo 1838 & on $725 from 15th Aprl 1839 costs of $6:78, credit endorsed of $700 paid 25th June 1840. The petitioners pray that the said Wm. R. Smith admor as aforesd and R. H. Foote and Lucien Dade as well as the said Christopher Neale admr of Jno: R. Wallace decd may be made defdts hereto, that they may be requir[e]d severally to answer on oath & say whether there be not assetts of said estate of Jno: R. Wallace sufficient to pay the debts chargeable on said estate without including the value of the petitioners and have again averring that there are assetts sufficient to enable the admor aforesd,