William v. Nicholas B. Vanzandt & Christopher J. Estes. Affidavits of Martha Straas & Emily Straas


County of Washington towit.

Martha Straas, widow, makes oath that the negro man William now in gaol, on account of his petition for freedom against       Milburn, was the property of the late Dr. W. W. Southall of Nelson County in Virginia, son of this deponent, who died intestate, leaving this deponent, his attorney two sons his two brothers & three sisters, entitled, as next of kin to the distribution of the surplus of his personal estate: that Christopher J. Estes duly administered on the estate of said intestate; and had the said negro regularly inventoried & appraised as a part of the estate of the intestate; this deponent doth not yet certainly know how the estate may finally wind up; or what surplus there   may eventually be, for distribution among the next of kin: no distribution has ever been made of the same; but the said admr permitted this Deponent to take possession, as one of the eventual distributees, of said negro, and have the benefit of his service till the first settlement & distribution of the Estate unless sooner called for by the admr, and being so in possession of the said negro, she brought him with her on her removal from Virginia to this city some time about the 20th 30th November 1824.

that the said negro was purchased as a slave for life by the said intestate of a Mr. Cabell in Virginia and was so held by him the intestate till his death: and was always reputed & held as a slave for life; and as such was brought by her to   this city, and ever since so held by her, subject to the call of the said admor. and this deponent further makes oath that her two sons Doctor Philip J Southall & Valentine W. Southall have given up to this Deponent all their undivided interest in said negro.

M. Stras.

Sworn and subscribed to June 21st 1826
before James Ord J Peace

And at the same time Emily Straas, daughter of the said Martha, but no wise interested in the said negro, makes oath that she is well acquainted with & knows the facts & circumstances stated in the said affidavit, relative to the purchase & ownership of the said negro by her [illegible] brother the late Dr. W. W. Southall till his death, and that the said negro was always so held & owned as a slave and without dispute, and not her mother had since had possession of him by permission of the admr Mr Estes as stated by her mother in her said affidavit.

Emily C. Stras.

Sworn and subscribed to June 21, 1826 before James Ord J Peace



filed 21st June 1826