Aaron: Freedom Suit, Prince Edward County (Part 1 of 2)
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[archivist: please note the "abandoned here" note near the bottom. I transcribed that part so it needs, careful review. NHW] To the worshipful court of Prince Edward county sitting in Chancery Humbly complain herewith to your worships, your Orator, Aaron (a man of color) that some years past he was the slave of a certain Andrew Baker late of this county, but who is now dead, that the said Andrew Baker being an old man, without children, and being disposed to free his slaves, informs your orator of his intention of freeing the complainant, and said he the compl't, that if he would hire himself out for four years, and bring the said A. Baker 1200 [lb] Tobacco a year, that the compl't should then be free. The compl't did hire himself out accordingly for three years, brought his said master 1200 [lb?] tobacco a year, and the fourth year, the said A. Baker took the compl't home, and said that his years services, should stand in lieu of the remaining 1200 [lb?]. This years services was accordingly rendered, and at the expiration of the year, which was 180 "[blank]". This said Andrew Baker discharged the complainant from his services, and told the complainant he was then a free man, to go and look out for business, and the said Andrew Baker further advised the complainant, that if he should hire himself to any person to have the Bond taken to the said Andrew Baker, and he would see that your compl't was not fooled out of his money. The Complainant pursued this advice, hired himself to a certain "[blank]" Carey. The Bond was executed to the said Andrew Baker and left with him. The Complainant further showeth, that some time in the course of a year, the said Andrew Baker died. The Complainant was taken by Andrew Baker Jn'r & John Baker the Executors of the said dec'ed and sold to [abandoned here] Catherine Baker, who is also exr & "[blank]" widow of the said Andrew Baker, the complainant further showeth, that he being under the age of 45 years, the said Andrew Baker supposed he was at liberty to set the Complainant free, in the manner he did, by discharging the Complainant from his service, and had done all that was necessary to free the Complainant. For the said A Baker dec'd said he had consulted some person and obtained advice to that effect. The Complainant further sheweth that the said Catherine Baker " " had notice of the Complainants claim to freedom before the purchase was made, and as yet has paid no part of the purchase