Phillis: Freedom Suit, Montgomery County (Part 16 of 20)
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Rockbridge County to wit, This day John McC Taylor, adm'r of James Charlton dec'd personally appeared before the subscriber, a justice of peace for sd County & made oath that in four pauper suits, now pending in the circuit Superior Court, of Law & Chancery for Rockbridge County in which Unis & others, slaves of the estate of sd James Charlton are plffs & this affiant & others are defendants, the sd plffs before the last trial of sd causes, in the sd Court obtained a commission to take depositions, in the State of Massachusetts, & also s commission to take depositions in the State of Connecticut, to be read as evidence in sd causes. That your affiant & the other defendants, being duly notified of the times & places of taking sd depositions, sent an agent to those States, to attend the taking of the same. That sd. Agent has informed affiant & verily believes, the following facts, viz, that he did attend the taking of sd depositions & cross examined the witnesses. That said witnesses who were examined for the purpose of identifying the ancestors of the plffs & proving their right to freedom one of said witnesses gave in his deposition a very erroneous description of Flora their common ancestor deposing that she was a bright mulatto or something to that effect, & other points of description equally false & that sd depositions being so taken sd agent left in the expectation that they would be sent on & filed in the cause. Your affiant states that sd depositions never were sent on or filed to this day but that others, as he believes of the same witnesses were taken after his agents return home & are now filed in the cause. Those depositions being excepted to the plffs have retaken some & he expects will retake the others. At the last retaking his sd agent was present & informs him & he believes that his sd agent was told by one of the magistrates who took the first depositions that these depositions are still in sd magistrates possession. This affiant deems sd depositions so suppressed most material to the defense of sd suits if his information concerning them is correct He therefore asks a rule on the plffs to produce them. Given under my hand this 13th Sept 1849 John Ruff JP A Copy Teste R D Binford DC