Letty Brown v. John H. Lowe. Affidavit of Thomas Bingay


On the trial of this cause, the petitioner to support the issue on her part above joined produced Thomas Bingay, a witness sworn in the cause, who testified that he was present at a bargain between the deft & Mary Greenfield, for the purchase of the petitioner who was held by said Mary Greenfield as a slave for life, and was offered for sale by her said mistress. That the parties met at the house of said witness, with the petitioner for the purpose. That Mrs Greenfield at first asked $300 for the iss sd slave; but deft prevailed on her at last   bargained for the sd slave at the price of $250. That after Deft & Mary Greenfield has adjoined the term of sale, the witness took the defts had agreed upon the sum price to be paid by the Deft for sd slave, the witness took the deft aside and inquired of him what was his purpose & object in making the sd purchase. To which the Deft. replied that he had a good opinion if the woman (that is the slave) wished to do her service, and intended to set her free upon being repaid the money he was to advance for her: the witness then put into deft's hands $40 to be paid to Mrs Greenfield in part payment of the purchase-money. This sum   That he was about to make the said purchase from motives only of Christian charity & to grace[?] the said woman of whom he had a great opinion & whom he thought it his duty to service, that he had confidence in her that she would repay him what he should advance & that she should then be free. The Witness told him that if that was his object in making said purchase he would, if he denied it, be security for Letty for 50.$, that she would pay up in overall sums what he might advance & that he would moreover put in his hands 40.$. Then, to enable him to make the first payment for Letty— the Deft declined taking the requiring the security, saying he had confidence in the woman, but agreed to receive the 40.$ which the Witness therefore paid him. The Witness got the said 40.$ from a coloured woman to whom Letty told him to apply for it, saying that it had been contributed by some friends of hers for the purpose of enabling her to buy herself of her said Mistress. And this sum of of 40.$ the Witness had received from said woman & was holding the same to be applied for to the purpose for   which it was contributed, & which he would not have given to said Deft. as aforesaid, but from his stating to the Witness that he was making the said purchase from the motives & for the purpose aforesaid.

And the said Witness further proved that after said bargain, the Deft. never claimed nor held the Petr. in his service, but that she lived at large, as a free woman in the City of Washington, where Deft. also lived. And that after said bargain & while so living at large, the Child mentioned in the petition was born. That Deft after receiving the 40$ paid it to Mrs Greenfield, who but no information was given to her of the object of Deft. in making said purchase.


had been received by the Witness of a free coloured woman, at the request of the petitioner who mentioned to him not such she was deposited in the hands of the sd free coloured woman, and requested him to call on her & set it for the purpose of being paid as aforesaid in part payment of the purchase of her freedom: - that the said Le Deft returned into the house and paid the same $40 to sd Mrs. Greenfield in part after the sd purchase. that nothing was said by any of the parties to sd Mrs Greenfield or in her hearing, of the intention to emancipate the petitioner. That this transaction took place some time in the year 1818, and at the time no bill of sale was executed nor any receipt given for   the money paid:

And the petitioner also produced & read in evidence to the Jury the paper writings & following towit: (here insert A B.


(demr to evi (to conclude with Deft's demr to the evidence & Deft's Plfs [illegible] in the usual form)

B.L. Lear for Petr
W. Jones for Deft.