Hungerford, John Pratt: Petition, Westmoreland County
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To the Honorable the Speaker and Gentlemen of the house of Delegates The Petition of John Pratt Hungerford Humbly sheweth That your Petitioner was proprietor of a Negro Man Slave named Sonny who was taken up by a Warrant from one of the Magistrates of the County of Westmoreland and committed to the Gaol of the said County on suspicion of feloniously and burglariously breaking and entering the Slave house of Alexander Henderson of Mattox and stealing from thence a trunk with money to the value of ten Pounds Currant Money of Virginia the property of the said Henderson Your Petitioner also sheweth that he was committed sometime in the Month of February and two Courts successively called for his trial but not a sufficient Number of Magistrates meeting to hold a Court upon account of the inclemency of the Weather he was not tried until the 29th day of March 1785. That at the 2'd day appointed for his trial he found his said Slave frost bitten in so violent degree whilst he was in Gaol as to be in great danger of loosing his Life and at that time it being excessively cold [illegible] place in the Gaol he was prevailed on by his friends & it was recommended to him by name of the Magistrate & he was likewise induced from motives of humanity to bail him and keep him in the Kitchen of the Gaoler until a Court should meet to try the said Slave The further sheweth that he employed a Surgeon to use his best skill to save his Life and every attention was paid to him during his stay under the direction of the Gaoler. He further sheweth that the said Negro Sonny on the days before mentioned received his trial being brought with difficulty into Court from the kitchen aforesaid not 100 yards distance from the Courthouse And on his trial he was acquitted and discharged & your Petitioner immediately carried him home And used every means for his recovery but to no purpose the said Negro Sonny dying soon after the Injury he received from the frost whilst he was in goal as aforesaid And your Petitioner further saith and hath proofs to the fact that the said Negro Sonny was in perfect health & not in the least affected with frost when he was apprehended and that he was frost bitten during his confinement in Gaol as aforesaid that