Ben v. Sabret Scott. Defendant's Bill of Exceptions


Negro Ben
Sabrett Scott

On the trial of this cause the petitr offered Evidence to prove that he had been imported as a Slave by the Deft from the State of Virginia into George-Town in The State of Maryland some time between the years 1794 & 1796; and the Deft on his part offered evidence to prove that, at the time of so importing the said Petitr he the Deft was a citizen of Virginia, and according came into the State of Maryland, with a bona fide intention of settling therein, and actually resided within the State of Maryland for one year and upwards computed[?] from and went succeeding his coming into the State, and that the petitioner at the time of being so imported and for a long time before belonged to the Deft and had been an inhabitant of the State of Virginia for the span of three whole years next preceding such importation; and the court, upon the motion of the Petitr, having decided that it was not sufficient for the Deft to have prove those circumstances on this Trial, but that it was necessary for the Deft to shew that the residence of the Petitr in some one of the United States, for three years, as aforesaid, antecedent to his coming into the State of Maryland, had been fully proved to the satisfaction of the naval officer or Collector of the Tax, by the oath of the owner, or some one or more credible witness or witnesses; whereupoon the Deft offered To prove that the Deft the the certificate of John Barnes collector of the customs and naval officer of the United States for of the District & port of George Town aforesaid, in the words & figures following, towit,

The said John Barnes being at the time of taking the proof & granting the certificate aforesaid, admitted to have (since the year 1801) duly appointed by the President of the United States to be collector & Naval Officer as aforesaid, and the said Sabritt Scott then & the petitr being then and ever since such his removal & the importation into the State of Maryland as aforesaid, being a resident of George Town afresd. within the present limits of the County of Washington in the District of Columbia afresd. and upon the motion of the Petitr. the court decided that the said certificate was not admissible evidence.


Whereupon the Deft offered in evidence the certificate of Richard Janesson who was admitted as stated in that certificate to be have been (since the year 1801 x) duly appointed by the Levy[?] Court of the County of Washington collector of the Tax for the County of Washington aforesaid, which certificate is in the words & figures following, towit,

and the court upon the like motion of the Petitr. also decided that the last mentioned certificate was not admissible evidence in this case. To which decisions of the court the Deft, by his Counsel excepts and prays that this his bill of exceptions may be sealed and inrolled according to Law, and the same is done accordingly.

W. Cranch. (seal)
N Fitzhugh (seal)

x and at the time of taking the proof and granting the certificate last mentioned.