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Phillis &c v Charlton: admr Be it remembered that on the trial of this cause the Defendants's counsel bound the court to instruct the Jury that if they shall be of opinion from the testimony in this cause that Flora the Female ancestor of Phillis who is one of the plaintiffs and the female ancestors of the other plaintiffs was imported into this State in the year 1784 or 1785 by James Stephens who was then removing into the Commonwealth of Virginia not having been a resident citizen thereof previous thereto that they should presume from his possession of Flora and from the possession of Flora who claimed under him for more than 20 years, that the said Stephens took the oath prescribed in the fourth section of "an act for preventing the farther importation of slaves" passed in October 1778. So as to throw the onus probandi on the plaintiffs that the said oath was not taken, but that presumption may be repelled by circumstances, but that if the said Flora did claim her right to freedom within 20 years, on other grounds and not on the ground that she said oath was not taken that is not a sufficient circumstance to prevent the presumption, arising from the lapse of time, that the oath was taken. To which instruction the Plaintiffs' counsel objected and moved the Court in lieu thereof to give the Jury the following instruction