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Latest revision as of 09:48, 28 October 2019
At the Courthouse of Pittsylvania County the 20th Day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Twenty one and 45th of the Commonwealth, before the Worshipful the Justices of said County Court in Chancery. Whereas heretofore to wit, At a Court held for the said County on the 17th Day of August in the year 1819, "On the motion of Mary Justice a woman of Colour and Leonard Hawkins and John Lancaster Infants of tender years by the said Mary Justice their mother and next friend who are detained in Slavery by John Witcher, they are allowed to sue the said John Witcher and Peyton Graves and William Witcher Executors of George Herndon Dec'd and John Witcher and William Graves Executors of Sarah Herndon Dec'd for their freedom in Forma Pauperis and George Townes and William B. Banks Gentlemen are assigned by the Court as their Counsel to prosecute the said suit. And it is ordered that the said John Witcher and the Executors of said George Herndon and Sarah Herndon do not presume to beat or misuse the said Mary Justice and children upon this account, but suffer the said Mary to Come to the Clerks office for Subpoenas for her Witnesses and to attend this examination and the trial, and It is ordered that the Said John Witcher and the Executors aforesaid enter into hand in the penalty of $500 Conditioned to have the said Mary Justice & children forthcoming to answer the Decree of the Court and in the event of not giving Such hand that the said Mary & children be taken in Custody by the Sheriff of this County. And Thereupon Came the said Mary Justice, Leonard Hawkins & John Lancaster infants of tender years who sue by the Said Mary Justice their mother and next friend by their Counsel and exhibited their Bill of Complaint against the said Peyton Graves & William Witcher Executors of George Herndon Dec'd and John Witcher and William Graves Executors of Sarah Herndon Dec'd which Bill is in these words to wit, " To the Worshipful Court of Pittsylvania County in Chancery setting, Humbly Complaining shew unto your Worships your Oratrix Mary Justice, a woman of Colour, and your Orators Leonard Hawkins and John Lancaster