Making History: Transcribe is made possible in part by federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Lemmon: Freedom Suit, Augusta County

image 9 of 24

Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.

This transcription is complete!

Wilson maybe assigned his Councel and your petitioner will ever pray &c

Lemmon his x mark Teste Jno. Mathews

If the facts set forth in the foregoing petition are true and are supported by proof I am of Opinion that the petitioner Lemmon is entitled to his freedom. James Wilson And thereupon it is ordered that proper process do issue to the said John Reynolds, and said Lemmon he in the mean time in the custody of the Sherriff [Sheriff] untill [until] said Reynolds shall give bond with security payable to the Justices comprising this Court in the penal Sum of One Thousand Dollars, either in Court or with the Clerk of the Court Conditioned to have him forthcoming to answer the Judgment of the Court, and to have full opportunity of attending and prosecuting this Suit, and at another day to wit, at a Court held for the Said County on the 13th day of March 1812 (until which time the said Cause was continued by Virtue of the Act of Assembly in Such Cases provided) Came the Plaintiff by his attorney and filed his declaration on the following Words, to wit

Virginia Kanawha County Court to wit:

Lemmon complains of John Reynolds in custody &c of a plea of tresspass [trespass] for this bond that the said Defendant on the 20th day of November, in the year, in the year of Christ 1811 at the County of Kanawha aforesaid and within the Jurisdiction of the County Court for the said County, with force and arms in and upon the said Plaintiff then and there being an Assault, did make, and him the said Plaintiff, then and there did beat wound and ill treat, and then and there imprisoned him the said Plaintiff, and kept and detained him in prison, there, without any reasonable or probable cause whatsoever for a long time to wit for the space of one hour then next following, contrary to the Laws and Customs of this Comth. and against the will of the Said Plaintiff, and other wrongs to the said Plaintiff then and there did against the peace and dignity of the said Commonwealth, and to the damage of the said Plaintiff One Hundred Dollars, and therefore he brings Suit Jno. Doe Ric'd. Roe } Pledges &c Wilson p.g

On which the Defendant appeared and by his counsel filed his plea in the following words, to wit. John Reynolds ads. Lemmon

And the said Defendant by Louis Summer his attorney Comes and defends the force and injury when &c and for plea Saith that the Said Plaintiff ought not to have and maintains his actions aforesaid against him in form aforesaid, because the Said Plaintiff is not a freeman but a Slave, and by the laws of this Commonwealth cannot have and maintain his actions aforesaid in form aforesaid, and this the said Defendant is ready to verrify [verify] Wherefore he prays Judgment if the said Plaintiff his action aforesaid against him the Defendant to have and Maintains Ought &c. L. Summer, for Deft &c To Which the Plaintiff filed his replication in the following words to wit Lemmon vs. John Reynolds "And the said plaintiff saith that he by any thing by said Defendant above in his plea alleged, from having and maintaining his action aforesaid against him the said Defendant to be precluded Ought not because he Says that at the time of instituting his suit aforesaid he was and still is by the Laws and customs of this Commonwealth a free man, and not a Slave,and this the said Plaintiff prays may be inquired of by the County &c. And the Defendant doth the like &c. Wilson [p.q?] And thereupon issue was Joined and the trial thereof defered [deferred] until the next Term ...And at another day to wit: At a Court held for the said County on the 11 day of June 1812 Came the parties by there attorneys and thereupon Came a Jury viz: John Donnally, Henry Hareman, John Jones, Evans Price, Stephen Tease, Joseph Fletcher, John Huddleston, John Stacke, Reuben Slaughter, Benjamin Johnston, John Alderson and Callis Morris, who being duly elected tried and sworn upon the issue Joined returned Verdict, "WE of the Jury find that Joseph Holmes was in "his lifetime, and until his death the owner and proprietor of the Plaintiff