Amy Gray v. Henry Howison. Affidavit of Henry Howison
Personally appears Henry Howison who being duly sworn deposes and says in answer to the notice to show cause in the case of Amy Gray why an attachment should not issue against him that he had no intention whatever of committing any contempt against the Court on not having appeared to the summons. That on the contrary Soon after the precept was served upon him he spoke to James Hoban Esqr an attorney of this Court to enter his appearance for the deponent and to defend or attend to the case. That he supposed an appearance had been entered to him until recently when he understood it had been forgotten. That before the notice to show cause had been served upon him he had employed another attorney to unite with Mr Hoban in looking after this matter but that he is informed the Motion for the rule to show cause against an attachment was made in the early part of the first day of this term and before the regular proceedings upon the civil docket had commenced so that his Counsel had not had time to look at the case. That he denies having removed the petitioner Amy Gray after the Summons was served upon him though he believes he informed the man that such a [illegible] had [illegible] as he though he was in duty bound to do. That he also disclaims any ownership in or to the said negro and begs leave to state his agency in the matter. The said negro was hired by him from a person in Virginia and as he had some how heard that it was necessary to have some evidence of ownership to present a claim for freedom he took a Bill of Sale for her which he had recorded and gave an obligation in writing to return the said negro to the owner upon demand agreeing at the same time to pay a hire for her services of Twenty dollars per anum.
That when the petition of freedom was known to him it was That near a year before this petition he had found that the negro would not suit him and he had notified the owner Mrs Mary Ann Potts of the fact who had taken her out of the custody of this affiant and sent a person to this City to hire her out and as he did not succeed the deponent was requested to act as an agent for that purpose and hired her to one John Coburn since which time the deponent has had nothing to do with the negro. That the said negro was not in his service, possession, or in any way under his control at the time of the service of the summons and had not been for near a year before that period.
That he understands and believes that the said negro woman is now in Alexandria in the District of Columbia and that this deponant so far from endeavouring in any way to put or [illegible] her and of the reach of the jurisdiction or action of this Court has really advised and notified the person [illegible] Thomas who is acting as agent for the owner that there is a petition for her freedom pending in the Court and that she ought not to be carried away.
That this affiant claims nothing in said negro & would not give five dollars to own her.
Sworn to in open Court. 25th Mar 1835.
Wm Brent Clk
Henry Howison's aff.
filed 4th Apl 1835