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To the Honorable Lucas P. Thompson. Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for Augusta County. Humbly complaining showeth unto yourHonor, your orator Thomas Johnston of Augusta County.

At the last term of this Honorable Court on its Law side a judgment was rendered against your orator in favor of Sam a man of color for the ? of $65 with interest from this 1st of January 1839 and $7.70 costs. No defence was made and the office judgment was confirmed by default. Your orator had a just and valid defence which he could have made at Law but which he was prevented from making by a misunderstanding between him & the counsel who brought this suit for him. When the suit was brought your orator called upon the counsel of Law I stated to him something of the nature of the defence which your orator was prepared to make. In that conversation it was suggested I agree that it was a case which ought to be referred to arbitration, & various persons were mentioned as suitable arbitrators. Finally it was agreed that Nicholas C. Kinney, Esq. would be a very proper person ? our orator left under the impression that it was settled that this case should at the proper time be referred to Mr. Kinney. Your orator went home and thought no more of the matter; employed no counsel but awaited the reference which he fully expected to be made. During the last term of the court & near the close of the term. Mr. Jacob P. Effinger.