William Thornton v. George Graham. Deposition of George Graham


After the death of my Mother I became entitled to a number of slaves which had been her property for and during her natural life. These slaves at her death were residing in the State of Virginia. In April 1819, I determined to remove them to my Plantation in Kentucky on which their immediate connections then lived. William the man suing for his freedom was one of those slaves. Mr. Stitch of King George County Virginia with whom he resided was requested to send him up to the city of Washington by the 20th of April, the time fixed for my departure. The slaves had all assembled here at the appointed time with the exception of William, and Mr. Stitch having advised me that he had sent him off in full time to meet at this place, and presuming that he had absconded, I set off with the residue of the slaves for Kentucky and did not return until the 9th of   August when I was informed that William had made his appearance imediately after I had left the City, he has continued here ever since. I had no opportunity to make an entry with the Clerk within three months after he came to the city agreeably to the Laws of Maryland, and if I had have had that opportunity, I did not in this instance deem it necessary. I came to this city in 1814, at the special solicitation of Mr. Monroe to occupy a public office and with no intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident of the District. I have continued in public life ever since, and have in no instance up to this time exercised the right of citizenship by voting or in any other manner, and have abstained on the express ground that my residence is a temporary one and will   continue no longer than I may remain in public office.

Geo. Graham.