in his sole custody, keeping & management down to the 20th of November 1849, there having been until some time in the year 1848 no committee or other person legally authorized to take charge of & control either the person or estate of the said Martha.
In the division & allotment of the slaves aforesaid, your orator has been informed and therefore believes & charges that the said Commissioners, regarding the helpless and unsound condition of the said Martha, & owing thereto deeming it wholly improbable that she would ever marry or in any respect change her situation, considered it entirely proper to assign her chiefly negroes whose production value or immediate profit was small, while those of a different quality & character were assigned to those who participated with her in the division. Hence its resulted that your orator had thrown upon his plantation and under his care & management a number of breeding-women with their families who could be of no possible service to him, he being in his own right a large slave-holder. And indeed the conditions of by far the greater number of them was such, as to make it at all times impossible for him to make proper & suitable disposition of them by hiring. Even of that portion of the said slaves who could be hired at any price, several of them were addicted to running away, and thus the difficulty of getting them hired was increased; yet your orator has not failed, whenever the same was practicable & by him deemed prudent, having reference to the welfare of the slaves themselves & to the best interests of the said Martha to hire out such of her negroes as could be thus disposed of, and at the best price which he could obtain. So great however was the inconvenience of having such a number of negroes on his plantation & living in a great degree necessitated to keep the slaves