Mary Bell v. Susan Armistead. Affidavits from Almshouse

 

Washington Asylum
March 31st 1837

I would not state not having been long aquatinted with Mr. Armstead that whilst in the asylum he appeared weakly of body and became weaker as he continued; that his voice was considerably failed sometimes scarcely to be distinguished of meaning, and at times appeared he would talk much without being able; I do not conclude him to have been capable of transacting business of any general kind, and he had ways of & actions, if natural to him, certainly very singular ones to others opinion. There was writing performed at the Asylum, & at the discretion of Doctor Clark in connection with Mr. Armistead, understood to be a Will.

Louis Vinott x his mark

Witness Jno Ross

Washington Asylum
March 31 1837

I would state, not having been long time acquainted with Mr. Armstead, and having rendered him what service lay in my power during his enfeebled condition, that he was for the most part of the time, in not the whole, completely childless & disqualified, having no use of the powers of person or speech to render his capable or intelligible to any one. The was a piece of writing drawn up at the Asylum during Mr. Armstead's stay at the Aslum, in relation to him, under the managed of Doctor Clark, and an Attorney whom I believe to have been Mr. Naylor, the same I understand to be a Will. This to the best of my belief.

Daniel Valentine x his mark

Witness Cleveland Darby

Washington Asylum
March 31 1837

I am confident from a knowledge of Mr. Armstead for a number of year previous to his coming to the asylum that a considerable change had occurred in his whole conduct and manner; I believe at the time he was at the Asylum he was totally childless and not capable of any management for himself or in the concerns of others, without a perceptible change of decay in his manners and actions.

Elizabeth Mattingley x mark

Witness Cleveland Darby

Washington Asylum
March 31 1837

My opinion is that Mr. Armstead during his residence at the Asylum, was not in a proper state of mind, necessary to the performance of a man's duties; whether of sickness or of old age he was certainly childless and not capable of any business or duty requiring consideration. Having had dealings of domestic character, of housewifery with him, I perceived this situation of him even in small particulars. I understand some persons attended Doctor Clark in making out a will, but who those persons were I am unable to state, but considered from my information obtained at the time the proceeding was not one to be approved by discreet Elders

Mary Riley x mark

Witness Cleveland Darby

 

March 31 1837
Washington Asylum

I do not hesitate to pronounce as far I as I witnessed of the manner of Mr. Armstead that he was not in sane mind, having had instances of his flighty imagination during his residence at the said Institution. I had not known this person, previous; I also, understand there was a Will on Writing made out at the Asylum in which he was concerned, but am not acquainted with the particulars.

Sarah Lucas x mark

Witness Cleveland Darby

Alm's House certificates