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Potter, William & Dilliard, John: Petition, Henry County

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for keeping - Your petitioners believe that the apprehensions of the said Traylor were without foundation in fact, altho he may have honestly entertained them. The slave Martin had a wife belonging to said Traylor for some years previous to the taking out said Warrant, and Traylor had no cause to complain of him untill a quarrell took place between the said Martin and another slave the property of said Traylor in consequence of an infraction on the part of Martin, that the other slave was too intimate with his (Martin's) wife. Under the sting of jealousy, and also under the influence of intoxication the said slave Martin upon the said Traylor's, taking sides with his slave and forbidding the said Martin his house, may have used some rash expressions, which induced the said Traylor to take out the Warrant aforesaid. Your Petitioner humbly conceives that the Court under the Laws of the land had no right to commit the said slave to custody or to require the bond and security aforesaid, in as much as there is no statutory provision giving any such power to the County Courts, and the common law cannot be made to apply to a speices of property which was unknown to it. If your honorable body should however be of a diffrent opinion, your petitioners would respectfully suggest whether public policy does not demand that the power should be withdrawn. Your petitioners also believe that if the Court had the power alluded to, the sum fixed for the penalty of the bond was excessive, being three times the value of the slave, and your petitioners can see no prospect of ever regaining possession of their slave without the interference of your Honorable body. They therefore pray, that you will extend to them such relief, as in your wisdom you may deem proper. That you will either pass a declaratory act setting forth the law on the subject, if you should be of opinion that the County Court of Henry assessed a power which they did not possess or otherwise pass a law authorising