William Jordan v. Lemuel Sawyer. Defendant's Bill of Exceptions


William a colored man vs. Lemuel Sawyer

Be it remembered that in this cause, on the trial thereof the plaintiff introduced a witness who proved that when he served the process in this case on the defendant, the said defendant stated that he had bought the plaintiff in the district from a man named Valentine Peyton, who had come on a visit to the district from Wheeling in Virginia that he had taken a bill of sale for the said plt that the price was $325: that in a day or two, or two or three days, the defendant who was a member of Congress from North Carolina, had sent him by the steam boat to Norfolk in Virginia where he was to remain, until he the deft should arrive.


The plaintiff also exhibited a letter as evidence a letter which the defendant admitted to have been written by him which letter, addressed to "Captain Jenkins, Potomac," and subscribed L Sawyer is in the words following to wit ([illegible] the letter verbatim

which evidence being all the evidence offered in on the part of the plaintiff the deft by his counsel doth demur [illegible] as insufficient in law to support the said plaintiffs case as set forth in the [illegible] Petitioner: wherefore he prays that the Jury may be discharged from rendering their verdict, in this Case, until the matter of law can be heard: wherefore the plf avers that the evidence aforesaid is sufficient & prays the Judgment of the Court thereon

* The plf further proved that Valentine Peyton, soon after the sale left the City, and in debt, and has never not returned: that the plf was sold by Poor[?] as an auctioneer, and was [illegible] on board the steam boat & sent away immediately: that he was [illegible] on board the steam boat that same day   and the price was afterwards paid: that Plf Peyton told the plaintiff when he was going to at the steam boat or at wharf it, that he would meet him down the river,— perhaps at Chapters.

But the Court refused to discharge the Jury and required and refused to require the plt to join in the demurrer, unless the defendant would admit such facts as might be fairly referred by the Court from the evidence aforesaid: which facts were (1) that the Petitioner was brought into the district with intent to sell him (2) that there is no other claimant of the petitioner in existence: 3. That he was secretly sold without the power of claiming his freedom and removed from the district immediately after the sale with a[?] view to prevent his claiming his freedom: which facts the defendant refused to admit: whereupon the Court dereded the trial to proceed before the Jury: to which opinion & direction of the Court the deft by his Counsel objects Excepts, and prays the Court to sign & seal this his bill of exceptions in order that the same may be made part of the record in this cause.


William Jordan


offered by Defts counsel & bill of exceptions.


Capn Jenkins ought not [illegible] brought back my negroe. He was not free, but a lying rascal. He passd here a whole winter, as the slave of V. Peyton, was advertised & sold to me by Mr Poor[?], & carried on board, [illegible] delivered to my agent in Norfolk. If he [illegible] on board again (as he is now run away) I hope he will not get off so easy, [illegible] be delivered to Lee, or some one in Norfolk, who will not mind the fellows tales. & sell him, & deposit the money in Bank for me. The money must not be pasd into any other persons hands but [illegible] in Bank; I would not deliver his trunk, but keep it like your passager money is paid. Can you bring me up & over [illegible] from Garrison & Co.[?]

L Sawyer — [illegible]


Negroe William

Exhibit In the Bill of Ex.