Abby: Freedom Suit, Petersburg City (Part 1 of 2)
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the said David Bradley lived with his mother at the time of her death and therefore the slaves aforesaid remained for some time in his possession that all the children aforesaid of the said Mary Bradley having frequently heard or understood her benevolent intentions towards her said Slaves united in agreeing (and the husbands of the females cordially assented to the argument) that such her intentions should be carried out into complete effect. Al of them therefore agreed that the said David Bradley with whom the said Slaves remained should in his own name execute them a deed of emancipation the other distributors living at a distance from him and in other Counties and that the same should by them all be considered valued and obligatory. That such deed of emancipation was accordingly executed by the said David Bradley on the third day of September in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety two and recorded in the Court of Isle of Wight County where he lived in the same month; an attested Copy of which deed is hereto annexed as part of this bill and as your honor will perceive expressly includes by name your oratrixes Abby and Sally. That your oratrixes Louisa and Airy and your orator John are infant children of your oratrix Sally born since the said deed of emancipation was executed. That from the date of the said deed, until within two days past your oratrixes, Louisa and Airy and your orator John) have enjoyed the benefit of freedom unmolested by the claim or demand or any person under the sun, but then to their infinite astonishment and terror they were seized and taken by the sergeant of the Petersburg where they reside to satisfy and execution against the said David Bradley. Before your oratrixes and orator proceed to state the history of this execution they beg to refer your honor to the affidavits of the aforesaid William Ragsdale and Alexander Taylor hereto annexed to substantiate and prove what they have above alledged [alleged]. Since it is not at present allowed them to obtain there of the said David Sturrock and Mary his wife or of the said Stith Parkham, but they will be obtained in due season, and as all of them are people of acknowledged probity the fact will not and cannot be disputed. The execution by virtue of which your oratrixes and orator have been seized as aforesaid is one issued from the District Court of Suffolk on behalf of one [Andrco] Woodley and Eliza his wife and one Edward Winston and Woody his wife against the goods and chattles [chattels] of the said David Bradley and Eliza his wife for the sum of L 416 with interest thereon from the first of March 1791 till paid, also eighty three pounds seventeen shillings and six pence with the interest from May 15th 1798 till paid, also L 46.4 with the like interest from Nov. 7th 1797 till paid and for fifty three dollars and fifty five cents as will appear from an attested copy of the said execution hereto annexed. It is issued in consequence of the following claim as your oratrixes and orator have understood from the said Edward Winston one of the parties who directed the said execution to be levied on them. Some short time before the aforesaid deed of emancipation was executed bu the said David Bradley he had married the widow and executrix or administratrix of one John Harrison formerly of Isle of Wight County where other distributors were the said Eliza Woodley and Woody Winston, whose husbands some years ago instituted a suit in the Honble Court against the said Bradley and wife for an account and the recovery of what was due to them. This suit after [defunding?] in the Court for some time was on a decision of the Court of Chancery transfered [transferred] to the Williamsburg District Chancery Court, where not long afterwards a decree was pronounced against the said Bradley and wife for the sums in the execution aforesaid mentioned. On this decree an execution issued against the goods