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William J. Isabell vs. Elisha Peters, etc.: Chancery Cause, Amherst County (Part 1 of 3)

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The separate answer of Elisha Peters to a bill of complaint exhibited against himself and another in the Circuit Superior Court of Law & Chancery for the County of Amherst by William I. Isbell, Robert Isbell and Maurice H. Garland administrator with the bill annexed of Christopher Isbell dcd. This respondant saving and reserving to himself the full benefits of all just exception to the many errors and uncertainties in the said bill contained, for answer to so much thereof as he is advised it is any way material he should answer, he answers & says. that he was owner of the slave Edmund in the bill mentioned from a boy to the time of sale, and the real owner when he was sold. He was at that time, as he had been for a long time before, so far as this respondant knew or believed, a sound and healthy slave: and had this respondant acted for himself in making the sale, he would have had no hezitation in warranting his soundness, had a warranty been required, because he believed him to be sound. He however understands that a warranty was not required, and that none was made: the plaintiffs title to relief will consequently depend, upon the proof of a false representation of the condition of the slave, or a fraudulent concealment of some circumstance calculated to impair his value. This respondant was not present at the sale, and therefore does not know what representations were made, but that the said Halsey misrepresented the condition of the slave, or that he was guilty of any fraudulent concealment. This respondant does not admit, because he does not believe it.