Thomas Butler v. Gabriel Duvall. Deposition of Thomas Gossum


Deposition of Thomas Gossum taken by consent of parties to be read in evidence in a suit depending in the circuit court of the District of Columbia in which Thos. Butler and Sarah his wife & others are Plaintiffs and Gabriel Duvall is defdt.

1st To the first interrogatory he answers & says:

I formerly knew them and they were the slaves of John Dels or Dales

2d To the second, he answers & says: I was well acquainted with him and he was a resident both of Maryland and the District of Columbia at different times, but at what periods he resided in either I do not recollect.

3d To the 3rd he answers & says, He did remove into Virginia, but at what time I do not recollect, and brought with him the said slaves, he resided with me a year at least, if not more. The slaves also lived a year with me, and he wished me to take them another year but I refused.

4th To the 4th he answers & says: I advised him to sell them, as I considered them a charge on his hands, but he did not sell them until after he left Virginia and removed to George Town in the District of Columbia. he afterwards informed me that he sold them whilst there to one Duvall.

To the 5th he answers and says: I do not recollect the time of his removal and bringing the sd slaves into Virginia. nor do I recollect the period of their sale, of which the said Dels or Dales informed me as I before stated.


To the first Cross Interrogatory, he answers & says: I do not know him, nor did I ever see him in my life that I know of.

To the 2nd Do. he answers & says: I knew him when he resided in Montgomery County Maryland. & before he lived in George Town. I have no recollection of the time he removed to George Town

To the 3rd Do. he answers & says: I knew him at the time he so lived with Getzendanner, but I do not recollect the year.

To the 4th Do. he answers and says: He did own them at the time, had them with him in George Town, for I remember he hired them out there.

To the 5th Do he answers & says: I do not remember certainly to whom he hired them, but think he did hire them to Getzendanner.

To the 6th Do he answers & says: I do not recollect.

To the 7th Do he answers & says: He lived in Virginia before he was Bar-Keeper for Getzendanner. Having moved I think from Montgommery to Virginia, and from Virginia to George Town.

To the 8th Do. he answers & says: I recollect he kept a grocery store there, which he bo't of Getzendanner, but do not remember the date.

To the 9th Do. he answers & says: I do not recollect that at all.

To the 10th Do. he answers and says: I can not say with certainty, but think he came from Montgomery into Virginia, but I can not recollect the date.

To the 11th Do he answers and says: I am certain he bro't the said identical slaves, but have no memory of the date.

To the 12th Do he answers & says: The said Dels or Dales told me he sold them when in George Town to one Duvall in Montgomery. I know no more about it.


To the 13th Do. he answers and says: I never knew he was a tenant of a Mr or Mrs Thompson, nor of Mathew Kenedy. Of course I know nothing of where the Houses were.

To the 14th Do. he answers & says: I knew him when he live with Flaut at the upper end of George Town. but can not say when that was or how long ago. But I have no recollection of his having lived with Wm Duvall.

To the 15th Do he answers and says: He did own them when he lived with Getzendanner and I think hired them to him. I know he hired them out in George Town but do not know to whom they were hired. I do not recollect whether he owned them when he lived with Flaut.

I R Mason justice of the peace for the County of Fairfax in the state of Virginia do hereby certify that Thomas Gossum personally appeared before me at his own dwelling in said county and after being sworn according to law, made the foregoing answers to the several interrogatories & cross Interrogatories respectively. having them propounded to him separately and apart from any other witness & without the presence of any attorney or agent either of the petitioners or defendant, or for the abolition society.

Given under my hand and seal this 31st March 1831

R Mason (seal)