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Shelton, Admx. of Abner C., etc. v. Royall, Francis L., etc.: Chancery Cause, Halifax County (Part 1 of 6)

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2 Royall and critically received by this resp. and Shelton's Adm'x. In answer to the complainants bill calling upon this respondent to state in what manner this settlement was made states that it was founded upon the books notes memoranda &c kept by A. C Shelton for that purpose and similar books kept by William Royall both agreeing in every important point. This respondent states the he cannot now remember, in detail, every solitary item in that settlement, that he kept no copy of it, and believes the original was kept by William Royall as also the books &c in his possession. The books kept by A. C. Shelton and in his possession at his death were retained by his adm'x. This respondent expressly denies that there was any unfairness in sd settlement as alleged by Complainants. On the Contrary with a liberality, known to no one better than the Complainants, and which this respondent would never have mentioned, except for the pertinacious demand of the complainants in their amended bill Compelling this respondent to obtrude such things on the attention of your honor, he & his brother the sd Wm Royall to satisfy their sister permitted her in behalf of A C Shelton's estate to retain a mulatto girl Charlotte at the cost price of sd girl when she could have been sold for a considerable profit. They also gave to her in the same way as a mere gratuity their interest in a negro boy named Bob which had been bought by the funds of the Concern. Both of sd negroes are now in the possession of the Complainants. This respondent does not now remember distinctly, how much, 3 but knows perfectly well that William Royall paid over money to one or both of the other parties at the time and was ready to pay the whole amt. to each, and exhibited fund for the purpose Consisting mostly of Northern drafts. This respondent was anxious at the time of sd settlement to have his private claims against the estate of A C Shelton adjusted in the same but Wm Royall refused to let them come in saying that they were not the partnership transactions and that they could be as well or better settled afterwards privately. This respondent till insists that no settlement of sd. claims have ever taken place. On the 1st day of March 1836 a new partnership with different parties from the first was entered into and articles signed by this resp, William Royall and Eliza M Shelton individually with a new Capital and very different from the first. So far from the fund being continued in the new firm by E M Shelton as adm'r of her husband she actually credited the amt received & due Shelton's estate from Wm Royall on her books in the act. against the estate and this respondent is not certain, but thinks it was put down in the inventory of the estate returned to Court. This respondent denies that he or his brother used any means to persuade their sister to enter into this partnership, but on the Contrary this respondent was anxious that the money which she appropriated in that way should go to pay her husbands debts, it was certainly, greatly to his own interest that the money should have been so disposed of. The agreement was entered into voluntarily upon the part of all. Your respond