Sarah Ann Allen v. Joseph Wallingsford. Defendant's Bill of Exceptions

 

Negro Sarah Ann Allen & her children
v.
Joseph Wallingsford

Memorandum

On the trial of this cause, the Petitioners to support the issue on their part offered in Evidence a deed of emancipation of the said Sarah Ann Allen by Rachel Wallingsford, duly executed acknowledged & recorded a copy of which is hereto annex marked A; to the admission of which deed in Evidence the Dft by his counsel objected; whereupon the Petitioners who offered Evidence to prove that the Petitioner Sarah Ann is the person named in and intended to be emancipated by the said deed and that she was at the time of the said execution of the sd deed of emancipation residing with the said Sarah Rachel Wallingsford as her servant, and that the said Rachel was then & had been for 8 or 9 years residing in the city of Washington in the District of Columbia and [illegible] in all respects as a feme sole, & was at times in circumstances of great poverty & distress; and that for all the time that the said Rachel resided in the said city previous to the said deed of emancipation the said Sarah Ann had been living with the said Rachel, or had been hired out by her as her slave and that the said Rachel had always received her wages when so hired, and applied the same to her own [illegible], and had in all respects acted as the owner of the said negro Sarah Ann.

Whereupon The Dft then offer'd evidence to prove that the said Rachel Wallingsford, was, at the time of the execution of the said deed, his lawful wife and that the said Negro Sarah Ann was at the same time his slave & property. That the said Rachel had for more than 8 or 10 years before the date of the said deed of manumission without reasonable   cause abandoned his bed and board (he then residing on his plantation in Prince George's County in Maryland) and wandered about sometimes residing among or her friends and neighbors in Maryland, and sometimes living by herself in Washington City in the District of Columbia. That she took with her the said Negro Sarah Ann who was suffered by the Dft to live with her the said Rachel as her servant, he not intending to deprive the said Rachel, during her life, of the service of the said negro. That the Dft repeatedly requested the said Rachel to return & live with him as his wife, which she refused to do. That in the year 1827 he took possession of the sd. negro in the city of Washington aforesaid as his slave, whereupon the said Rachel procured a warrant against him & caused him to be thereupon arrested & imprisoned in the sd. city of Washington, for kidnapping upon which occasion the said Rachel made oath that the said negro Sarah Ann was her slave. That he was discharged from that arrest upon habeas corpus. And agreed to leave the petitioners with his said wife Rachel if she would not harass him any more & would give upon the 120 Dollars a year which had been allowed to her for her separate maintenance presiding her suit for alimony in a court in Maryland; but that she never did give up the said allowance, and concealed the petitioner That after her death the Petit Dft took possession of the petitioner who were having been committed to prison in Washington County D.C. as runaways the Dft obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the Chief Judge of the District of Columbia, who was about to cause the to be delivered up to the Dft, when they filed the present petition for freedom, and thereupon the said Chief Judge refused to order them to be delivered to the Dft unless he would give security in the usual form by way of recognizance for their appearance in Court to prosecute their said petition, which the Dft was unwilling or unable to give and the petitioners still remain in custody of the marshal of this district.

whereupon the petitioners offered evidence to prove that the said Rachel left her said husband, and refused   to live with him because he had an illicit connection with a woman of ill fame, whom he suffered to live in his house on his plantation. That she filed her petition in the County Court of Prince Georges County in Maryland for a separate maintenance upon that ground, and that the court allowed her 120 Dols. a year pendente[?] lite[?]. That the said Rachel at the time of her intermarriage with the Dft. brought him property of the value of 900 Dolr. & that including the mother of the petitioner Sarah Ann who was born in the family after the marriage and had always waited on her mistress until she left her husband, and continued with her after she left him. That the Dft had agreed to give to his said wife property to that value to that amount, including the said Sarah Ann, which she agreed to take, and did take and carry away, upon her agreeing to acquit and discharge him from all further claim upon him for support which she did not do, but that she did not receive from him anything afterwards. That part of the said property consisted of single bills to the amount of 350 dollars, which the Dft afterwards refused to pay. That she thereupon brought the aforesaid suit for a separate maintenance in the sd. County Court of Prince George's County in Md. which suit was pending at the time of her death which happened in the spring of 1834. And the Petitioenrs read in Evidence to the Ju Court and Jury, without objection by the Dft, The petition of the said Joseph Wallingsford, the Dft. to the said County Court of Prince George's County, sworn to by him on the 14th of April 1827, a copy of which is hereunto annexed. Marked (B.) And further offered evidence o prove that the said Petitioner Sarah Ann was at the date of the said deed of emancipation healthy, sound in mind & body & capable by her labor to [illegible] for her self and her children in the said deed named sufficient food & raiment with other requisite [illegible] of life. And that the sd children were then healthy & sound in mind & body and had been supported by their mother. Upon consideration all the matters so given in evidence by the parties as aforesaid The Court permitted the aforesaid deed of manumission   to be read in Evidence to the Jury by the counsel for the Petitioner; expressly leaving it to the Jury to say or find from the evidence whether the the title of the said Rachel to the said Negro Sarah Ann at the time of the execution of the said deed, was absolute or only for the life of the said Rachel; and the Court instructed the Jury that that question was open for their consideration upon all the evidence in the cause.

To which admission of the said deed in Evidence to the Jury, and to the said instruction so given to the Jury the counsel for the Dft excepts, and this his bill of exceptions is signed, sealed and ordered to be enrolled.

W. Cranch. (seal)
B: Thruston (seal)

Whereupon the Dft by his council prayed the Court to instruct the Jury that if they should believe from the evidence aforesaid (viz. the Evidence stated in the first bill of exceptions) that Mrs Wallingsford held the petitioners by virtue of an agreement made between her & her husband, without the intervention of a trustee, that said agreement in null & void & could give no power to Mrs Wallingsford to manumit the slaves held by virtue of such an agreement.

Which instruction the Court refused to give, to which refusals the Dft by his counsel excepted, and this his bill of exceptions is signed, sealed and ordered to be enrolled

W. Cranch (seal)
B Thruston (seal)

The Dft by his counsel then prayed the Court to mistrust the Jury that if they should believe from the Evidence   aforesaid, that an agreement was entered into between Defendant & Rachel Wallingsford by which said Rachel was to have said Petitioners in lieu of being supported by him as his wife, yet if there was no covenant on the part of a trustee, or some other one capable of contracting with said husband. That he should not be liable for the maintenance of said Rachel as his wife, the same is null. Which instruction the Court refused to give, to which referral the Dft by his counsel excepts, and this his bill of exceptions is signed sealed & ordered to be enrolled.

W. Cranch. (seal)

The Dft. then, by his counsel prays

B: Thruston (seal)

The Dft then by his Counsel prayed the Court to instruct the Jury that if they should believe from the evidence aforesaid that an agreement existed between the Dft & Mrs Wallingsford, that he should transfer the petitioners to her on condition that she should relinquish all claim to alimony against him, that then should the Jury believe from the said evidence, that she did not comply with this condition, and that she did prefer against him a subsequent claim for alimony, that then the said agreement cannot be enforced against the Dft. Nor can he be deprived of any of his rights by virtue of said agreement. Which instruction the Court refused to give, two which refusal the Dft by his counsel excepted, and this his bill of exceptions is signed, sealed & ordered to be enrolled

W. Cranch. (seal)
B Thruston (seal)

 

The Dft, then, prayed the Court to instruct the Jury that if they should believe from the evidence aforesaid that the petitioners or any of them, at the time of the execution of the deed of manumission aforesaid were not able to by their labor to procure for themselves sufficient food or raiment with other necessary requisites of life, then the said deed of manumission, as to them, or such of them was inoperative. Which instruction the Court gave; and also at the prayer of the counsel for the petitioners, further instructed the Jury. That if they should believe from the said Evidence that the said children in the said deed mentioned were of healthy constitutions and sound in mind and body, and that their mother was capable by labor to procure to them sufficient food and raiment with other requisite necessaries of life, and did maintain them, then such children are not under the incapacity intended by the Maryland law.

To which last mentioned instruction the Dft by his counsel excepted and this his bill of exceptions is signed, sealed & ordered to be enrolled.

W. Cranch (seal)
B: Thruston (seal)