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Latest revision as of 09:34, 1 April 2020

had the right to emancipate her by the Deed & will aforesaid But being also of opinion that according to the decision of the Court in the case of Jordan vs Murray 3d Call 85 if the said Jordan the Younger held the said Rachel under a gift from his father or under an exchange for another negro previously given and claimed title to her adversely to his said father for more than 5 years prior to the date of the Deed of 1790, altho' the said gift may have been by word only. Yet that this adverse possession claiming title ago his father for that length of time made the title of said Jordan the younger a valid one. So that the elder Jordan had no right by the Deed aforesaid to emancipate said woman. And being of opinion that even if according to the principles of the doctrine of Election involved in the question arising upon the will of Jordan the elder the plffs were not entitled to their freedom yet if the question first herein stated were decided in their favor they or some of them as will be hereinafter mentioned would be so entitled. the Court deemed it right that that question should be first considered. And finding upon careful examination of all the testimony bearing upon this question of fact that the evidence was almost entirely circumstantial except so far as the statement in the answers might if treated as evidence in behalf of the Defendants be regarded as direct was of opinion that the jury should be impannelled to try the question that being the proper tribunal to inform the court as to whether a loan or a gift should be inferred from all the circumstances stated to the Counsel of the Plffs & Defendants and unless both parties by counsel in open court preferred that the court should decide the question. An issue would be directed to be tried by a jury and thereupon the counsel for both parties preferred the decision that the court should proceed to determine the question without the intervention of a jury. And thereupon the court proceeding to determine said question is of opinion that the said Jordan Anderson the younger at the time of the execution of the Deed aforesaid [which was duly recorded in the proper Court] held the said woman Rachel under a loan from his father Jordan the elder. And the court is also of opinion that even if the said Jordan the younger had acquired title to the woman Rachel