Ralph Taylor v. James C. McGuire. Petitioners' First Bill of Exceptions


Ralph Taylor & his wife & children
James C. McGuire admr J. P. Todd

On the trial of this cause the Petitioners to maintain the issue on their part joined offered and gave evidence to shew that they were the property of Mrs Dolly P. Madison and were by her conveyed to her son said John P. Todd, previous to her removal from the State of Virginia; that in the month of November or December 1843 the said Mrs Madison removed from the State of Virginia to the District of Columbia, and continued to reside there till her death in the year 1850. That in or about the month of January 1845 the said slaves were sent from Virginia to the said District and came to Mrs Madisons residence and resided with her till her death That said John P Todd came to the said District in the summer of the year 1846, and made his home at his mothers until her death, and   thereafter remained in said District until the winter of 1852 when he died leaving a will by which he undertook to manumit said slaves of whom he took possession on his mothers death and held until his own death; that he was not in said District from the time said slaves were so brought into it, until he came as aforesaid in the summer of 1846; and it was admitted that the personal estate of said Todd exclusive of the said slaves was is insufficient to pay his just debts.

And thereupon the Petitioners by their counsel prayed the court to instruct the jury (here insert A) which instruction the court refused to give, and the Petitioners by their counsel except thereto and pray the court to sign and seal this their first bill of Exceptions and to cause the same to be enrolled according to the statute, which is done accordingly this 1st day of December 1852

Jas S Morsell (seal)

Jas. Dunlop. (seal)



If the Jury shall from the whole evidence aforesaid shall find that the Petitioners were the property of said John P Todd in the state of Virginia that they were brought to this District in or about the month of January 1845 & have remained here ever since that said Todd did not come to the District thereafter until the spring or summer of 1846, and then did come & remain until his death in the year 1852, & left a will manumitting said slaves, then such importation, residence & disposition entitles his slaves to their freedom