To the worshipful county court of Russell County. The answer of William, Joshua & Minerva Samples infants under the age of twenty one years, by their guardian ad litem, T. F. McElhenney, to a bill exhibited against them and others in this court by James Samples & others, after reserving to themselves any exceptions which may be to said bill for any error therein contained, for answer say, that they are infants of tender age, and that they trust that this court will do nothing which would prejudice their interest from an examination of Complainants bill and from an examination of the case, so far as they have been able to examine into it, they are of the opinion and from a consultation with some of their near friends decidedly of the opinion, that their interests would be best promoted by a sale of the slaves mentioned in said bill, from the facts as they understand them, there are other infants, besides these infants, and they are advised that it will be almost impossible to have the said negroes divided so as to give to each person entitled their proportionable part of said slaves Your respondents think that their interests (from the fact that such property is subject to death and depreciation in value) would be best promoted by a sale of said slaves. And having answered all things they are advised it is material for them to answer they pray to be hence dismissed with their costs &c McElhenney & Aston
Virginia Russell County to wit This day John F. McElhenney guardian ad litem for the infant children of Lewis Samples to wit:
Wm Joshua & Minerva Samples made oath that the foregoing answer, so far as it depends on his own knowledge is true, and that so far as it depends on the information of others he believes it to be true
Given under my hand as a justice of the peace for said county Nov 7th 1850
Sam'l. W. Aston, J.P.