Dorcas & Julia v. James Smith and Fanny v. Isaac Kell. Affidavit of William Simms


The Affidavit of Wm. Simms taken by consent & to be used in the case of Dorcas & others vs Kell & Smith.

This affiant says that at the latter end of the year 1796 perhaps in the month of Decr. of past year he purchased the said Negro woman Dorcas of Alexander Smith for the term of nine or ten years, but which he is not positively certain. That a short time afterwards a difference arose between said Smith & this affiant upon the subject of said purchase, it appearing that said woman was not as this affiant contended in all respects sound, (that is she was a little lame), it was agreed to be left to referees[?], & they determined that if this affiant saw fit to do so, he should sell said woman for what she would bring, & that each party should have an equal loss. She was accordingly sold by this affiant a short time after he purchased her for the term of years for which she had been sold to him, and for the same price at which she had been sold to him. That said Smith frequently after his sale to this affiant promised to make out papers for her freedom to said Dorcas, but he neglected it & never did give her any papers. There was not a word said between said Smith & this affiant or between this affiant and Timothy Carrington to whom this affiant sold her about the children or increase of said woman Dorcas.


The affiant [illegible] the time at which she was afterwards to be free at to commence on the first day of January & this he afterwards mentioned to said Smith who approved of it, this affiant mentioned a particular day because no day had been specified for her freedom to commence in the sale to him, it being only said that she should at the end of so many years be free.

Sworn to before me this 27th November 1819.

Chr: Neale J: Peace County of Alxa.