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Court Papers

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1809 [unknown]
Location: North Carolina, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Waters, North Carolina Cullom
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Bill of Indictment against John P. Waters March 1809

"John P Waters Betsy Culloms Adultery & Fornication March term 1809 Geo Lewis ???? Jenny Loggins Wm Abshare Sworn & sent Wm B Lenoir Clk A True Bill Allen Robinett Foreman State of North Carolina Wilkes County – Superior Court of law March term 1809 The Jurors for the state upon their oath present that John P. Waters, late of the County of Wilkes, labourer, and Betsy Cullom, late of the same, spinster, being persons of evil and immoral habits and regard less of the laws of God and man on the first day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and nine, and on diverse days as well before and afterwards with force and arms, in the county aforesaid, were living together in habitual fornication adultery, and that said John P Waters took the said Betsy Culloms into his house and that they have had one child ?? parting, to the evil example of all others in like case offending, contrary to the form of the act of assembly in such case made and provided, against the peace and dignity of the state and the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do further present that the said John P Waters and Betsy Culloms, on the said first day of February in the said year [over] and on diverse days and times as well before as afterwards, with force and arms in the said County, did and cohabit together after the manner of husband and wife, whereas in the truth and in fact they have never been legally married, to the evil example of all other in like case offending, contrary to the form of the act of assembly in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of State. M. Troy solicitor"[1]

Petition written by John P. Waters (filed 18 Dec 1809)

(All spelling and punctuation left as it is in the original document.)
Dec 1809
The Honourable the General assembly of North Carolina. The petition of John P Waters of Wilkes County humbly represent, to your Honble Body, that about forteen years ago your petitioner did take into his house a Certain Elisabeth Culms a woman of colour, and by the strict attention of the said Elisabeth, to our petitioners concerns he became attached to the s.d Elisabeth in such a manner that, your petitioner did Intend to make her his lawfull wife, but being informed that such a connection would be Illegal it was from time to time defered to the present day. In the mean while an Intimacy took place which appeared Irresistable, the fruits of which has been six fine children. here your petitioner begs leave to state that he is a very poor man, and being desirous to bring up his said children as decently as in his powers and educate them. It has required his hole time to hard labour and Industry with that of the said Elisabeth his only companion. But envy and Malice has at last seized on the heart of a neighbour who gave our Solisitor Information of my unfortunate situation and manner of living, who profered a Bill of Inditement against your petitioner & the s.d Elisabeth for living together in an unlawful manner and at the last, day of September Term 1809, your petitioner with the said Elisabeth did appear in court and acknowledged the allegation set fourth in the Bill of Inditement to be true and submitted the sentence of the court. The Honble Judge Lawrie then and their did preside, and fined your petitioner Twenty five pounds and the said Elisabeth Culmes Twenty five pounds also, here let me beg leave again to state the small pittanns I possess, if the hole was exposed to publick sail would not be a sufficiency to Discharge the above fines and costs, and notwithstanding a thorough conviction of the unlawfull & Irrellegious manner in which your petitioner has and does live in the eyes of all good men, he is from the love he bares his said little children and their kind mother, still desirous to keep them together to do a fatherly and Husbands part by them, as time or circumstance can not alienate them from him, your petitioner therefore prayeth that your Honourable body may take his case under your even consideration and remit the aforesaid fines of fifty pounds or grant him such other relief as you in your wisdom may think fit and be as in duty bound will we pray.[2]

John Phillip Waters (abt.1770-) Elisabeth (Cullom) Waters (abt.1775-abt.1813)





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