Hannah: Freedom Suit, Arlington County (Part 3 of 3)
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wages of sixty dollars a year until he had paid for her. and this Deponent understood from Stephen West that Jackson [had full?] [fulfilled?] use his contract or that the said Rebecca wife of Charles Jackson departed this life in 1801 leaving two children Peggy and Hannah before mentioned, the former about five years old the latter a small child who had just begun to walk. that in the same year when this Deponent was about to quit the service of Mrs West Stephen West told him he might take those two children with him that he Stephen West had no one to take care of them, Charles Jackson was then absent in New York. Deponent refused to take them until he consulted his wife. Stephen West told him that he might keep them until they were sixteen years of age for the trouble of raising them and that when they arrived at that age they were to be free. Deponent consulted his wife and agreed to take the children & release from Charles Jackson soon after returned and refused to let Deponent have the children. Deponent when he left Mrs Wests employment left the children in the possession of their father who was then in the employment of Stephen West and resided on the Farm of Mrs. West[.] That Rebecca the wife of Charles Jackson never was in the possession of Stephen West that from the time she was [illegible] [illegible] she always lived with her husband
That he never understood Stephen West as setting up any claim to these children that the offer he made to this Deponent in the absence of Charles Jackson was to be subject to his approbation on his return if he did not return Deponent was to keep them until they were sixteen as compensation for the trouble of raising them. That the two children of Rebecca the wife of Jackson never were in the possession of Stephen West during his life, that they remained in the possession of the said Jackson until his death - the date of which deponent does not recollect with accuracy, that the children of the Complts, Hannah and Peggy never were in the possession of Stephen West or any claiming under him until about a year before they were seized and brought to Alexandria for sale. that they were entirely under the power and control of their mother after the death of their grandfather until the said seizure. and that she [illegible] Peggy and Hannah until the said seizure after the death of their father always went at large hiring themselves out as free persons[.] This deponent has no knowledge of any contract or bargain between Jackson and Stephen West except as before stated[.] That the plf Sophy was in the service of this deponent respondent for seven years preceeding [preceding] the month of October 1836 under an agreement with their mother.