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


In the trial of their cause the Petr offered to read to the Jury a certain paper (here insert it) & produced produced Walter Smith as a witness, who proved that the paper aforeseaid a certain certificate (hereto annexed) is in his hand writing, that he was at the time the said paper purports to bear date, Deputy Collector under J. M. Lingan whose name is written at the foot of the first certificate; and when he first went acted as Deputy generally authorised to sign said Lingjan's name to all official papers, but at the date aforesaid, the practice of the office had been altered and the witness always signed his own name as Depy collector, that the whole of said paper, [illegible] the name of said Lingan subscribed at the foot of said paper the 1st certificate, is in the hand writing of the witnesses, and no part of the same is the hand-writing of said Lingan; that said Lingan is still living and resides about 20 miles from this place; that the witness has no recollection or knowledge whatsoever of having given any such certificate or certificates, other than seeing the same in his hand-writing, and upon looking at the paper cannot recall to his mind any instance concerning it but presumes from seeing the Deft at the date of said paper was in the habit of coming to the office on the business of his witness, and the witness cannot recollect any applications or proceedings of Deft in the office separate the witnesses concerning[?] his [illegible]; from his transactions any other transaction[?]; The same in his hand writing that the circumstances stated in the certificate signed with his own name actually took place, and that the other certificate (to which the name of said Lingan is subscribed in the hand writing of the said witness) was intended as the form of similar certificates that had been usually granted by said Lingan   while he was naval officer under the state of Maryland, prior to the adoption of the present Constitution of the U. S. which certificates, subsequent to the establishment of the revenue system of the U. S. under the present constitution, said Lingan was of opinion doubtful whether he had an authority to grant had granting supposing that his authority as Naval officer under the State of Maryland had been superseded; but he sometimes always granted such certificates to [illegible]; when they required it. And the witness [illegible] and believes, from seeing his hand-writing as aforesaid, but without any recollection of the circumstances, that he gave the said certificate signed with his own name, in order to shew that Deft had applied for such a certificate from said Lingan as the 1st certificate aforesaid; that he never from said certificates to any persons but such owners of slaves as applied for them; and has no recollection of any application from Deft. Such certificates were always ususally granted never refused by said Lingan to persons removing into Maryland with Slaves, who insisted upon required such certificates; and the witness would not have given such a certificate as the paper aforesaid to any other person than the Deft. (Mem.[?] the said paper containing the said certificates was produced by the Petitioner's counsel.) and the Deft's counsel objected to the adoption in evidence of the certificates purported to be contained on the said paper. But the court overruled the objection, and admitted the said witness to testify to the said Jury in manner aforesaid and permitted the said first mentioned certificate so far as it precedes the name of James M Lingan to be read in Evidence to the Jury as explanatory of the testimony of the said Walter Smith, but refused the to permit the said paper or any part of it to be read in evidence to the Jury unaccompanied by the testimony of the said Walter Smith. And paper was read in evidence to the Jury according to the decision of the court; To which admission and refusal the Dft excepts and this his bill of exceptions is signed sealed and enrolled.
Feb 1. 1811

W. Cranch (seal)

N. Fitzhugh (seal)


239 Trials


exception No. 1.