Martin: Freedom Suit, Bedford County
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To the worshipful the Justices of the County Court of Bedford in chancery sitting. The Bill of Complaint of Martin, Stephen, Matt, Daniel, Ned, Ben, and Judy, respectfully represent, that your orators & oratrix are paupers and persons of colour and are unlawfully and unjustly detained in slavery by a certain Robert S. Coleman the acting Executor of the estate of Addison Davies decd. That your orators and oratrix formerly belonged to the estate of the said Addison Davies decd who in his lifetime made and published his last will and testament, a copy of so much of said will as relates to these complainants is herewith exhibited and prayed to be taken as a part of this bill. That by the provisions of said will, it will readily appear to your worships that your orators and oratrix are free according to the express language and intention of the said testator who in the twelvth clause of said will expressly provides for the emancipation of all the balance of his slaves not unbound in the former clauses of his said will so soon as they shall respectively attain the age of twenty eight years, and as soon as the legal title should be vested in the said testator by the determination of all suits relative to the division of the estate of the father of the said testator. Your orators & oratrix charge that they have each respectively attained the age of twenty eight years, that the legal title has long since vested in the representations of the said testator that the debts due from said estate are all paid or a sufficiency of assets to pay them and that all suits relative to the division of the estate of the said testator's father are determined. Your orators and oratrix further represent that the said Addison Davies made and appointed the said Robert S.