Abby: Freedom Suit, Petersburg City (Part 1 of 2)
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the goods and chattles [chattels] of the testators or interstate in their hands to be administered which was returned "no effects" hereupon an action of debt was instituted against them in the Suffolk District Court suggesting a [devastavit] on which at the last term a judgement levied on your oratrixes (except your oratrix Louisa) and your orator who guiltless as they are at this moment are deprived of their liberty and locked up in the goal of the town of Petersburg among felons. In this situation you orators have determined to lay their are before your honor and to suggest for your consideration the following questions 1st Whether as the original act allowing emancipation was in force without amendment at the time when the deed of emancipation aforesaid was executed (which act gives the owner of slaves unlimited power of manumitting them without regard to the claims of Creditors, the natural right of freedom restored to the victim of tyranical [tyrannical] law by such deed shall yield to the pollitical [political] rights of the emancipators. Creditors and if your honor shall be of opinion that the rights of the creditors in such case are superior to those of the negroe, then 2nd Whether such superior rights of the creditor shall extend further than to debts which the emancipator contracted with such a creditor on the faith and possession of such negroes; or whether it shall extend to claims of every description altho no voluntary credit had ever been given to the emancipator but he became the debtor of the other party by subsequent events, 3rd if this question too be decided against your oratrixes and orator then as Bradley and his wife are sued for an undertaking of the wife made before their marriage and as it is reasonable to presume that a considerable part at least of the waste of the assets had been made before such marriage. Bradley's emancipated negroes ought to be liable except for the waste committed by himself after his marriage