Admr. of Hiram Jordan vs. Margaret Swann, etc: Chancery Cause, Frederick County (Part 1 of 4)
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was properly secured; when she would execute the deed of emancipation. Respondent believes he at one time had a letter from Mrs Swann written at the time of the negotiation, shewing the purpose; and if it can yet be found he will file it as Exh A and part of this answer. He, however, avers positively that by the terms of the agreement Maria was entitled to her emancipation, upon the security of the $400; that it never was agreed or intended that Maria should be conveyed to Hiram or any one else as a slave; and that her mistress voluntarily gave up the great part of her value, out of kindness to Maria, for her personal benefit, to the end that she might be a free woman. Respondent accepted for Mrs Swann (and Mrs Swann soon after confirmed his act, and received the bond) the bonds in the bill mentioned, on the Complt as surety as satisfaction for the $400,. and Maria was, on all hands considered as entitled to her freedom. Whether she married before or after this completion of the contract on her part, respondent cannot state, as he does not know or remember. The Complainant, Mr Brown, who had become surety for the $400. and seemed otherwise, to take an interest in the matter, and who then understood the terms of the contract as above stated - repeatedly called upon respondent to have the deed of emancipation duly executed by Mrs. Swann. Respondent, as often, put it off, and, in truth was disposed to do so, as he explained to Mr. Brown, by the unsettled character of our legislation in reference to Emancipated negroes: - he was apprehensive that she might be prosecuted for remaining in the Commonwealth after her emancipation, and in hope that some change in the law might be made which would remove the difficulty. Mr. Brown acquiesced in the delay for these reasons - and from first to last respondent has no recollection of any suggestion, from any quarter, of conveying Maria as a slave to her husband; which Mrs Swann, he feels sure, never would have done, in view of the very attempt now being made, to sell