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Abby: Freedom Suit, Petersburg City (Part 1 of 2)

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Virginia. In the Superior Court of Chancery holden Richmond Between Abby, Sally, Louisa, John and Airy....Plaintiffs. and

Andrew Woodley and Eliza his wife Edward Winston and Woody his wife, David Bradley and Eliza his wife. Defendants.

Among the records and proceedings of the said Court are the following in the suit above mentioned to wit. To the Honble. the Judge of the high Court of Chancery sitting as Judge of the Richmond Chancery district Court. Bill. Humbly complaining show unto your honor your oratrixes and orator Abby, Sally, Louisa John and Airy, negroes and paupers that your oratrixes Abby and Sally are two of the negroes which belonged to Mary Bradley formerly of Isle of Wight County as her absolute property and estate. That the said Mary being a pious person frequently in her lifetime expressed her intention and determination to leave her negroes free by her last will and testament and her earnest desire that her wishes on behalf of her said Slaves should not after her death be contravened or opposed by her legal representatives, that the said Mary however departed this life sometime in the in year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, Interstate and consequently the right of property in her said Slaves devolved on William Ragsdale her son on Mary the wife of David Sturrsek on Sarah the wife of Alexander Taylor and on the children of Elizabeth who married Stith Parkham, the said William Mary Sarah and Elizabeth being her Children by Godfrey Ragsdale her first husband and and the said Elizabeth having departed this life in the lifetime of her said mother and on David Bradley her son and surviving Child by her second husband Parsons Bradley. That