Nanny: Freedom Suit, Augusta County
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he possesses one of the people called quakers & inimical to Slavery your petitioner afterward had the said writ of Sequestration [suspended?] & expected to be reinstated in the possesion [possession] of his property but the said Nanny being encouraged by the said Henly & others (who were unfriendly to your orator), under the pretence [pretense] of being the friend of freedom brought a Suit in the County Court of Montgomery for her freedom & joined with herself her children named Celia, Billey, Daniel, Rachel and Alexander whom she had born while your orators property alleging that she was born free and also that if a Slave she had been brought into Virginia contrary to the Act of Assembly passed in 1770s & thereby became intitled [entitled] to her freedom. Her said children never had been out of the County of Franklin where your orator resides. your orator understending [understanding] that the said Suit was bought & that the Court had made a certain order relative to the posession [possession] of the said Nanny, appeared & prepared for Trial and after some delay an issue was ultimately made up at the April Term in the year 180 . Your orator unprepared (though he had used all the diligence that could be) was ruled into a Trial during the course of which the most unblushing partiality was apparent in the decisions which the Court pronounced, nothing however just rational & legal that came from your orators Counsel was [illegible] and on the other hand every thing however preposterous that came from the plaintiff received the sanction of the Court. previous to the Trial the public Sentiment had been so much corrupted by artful & designing men that an impartial jury could not be selected, so [illegible] indeed was the Current that your orator & his Counsel barely escaped from the effects of premeditated insult & indignity. The Jury without paying attention to the evidence or reasons offered by Counsel formed a Verdict that