Surnames/tags: chancery case slaves
(Contents of case file are in reverse date order, last on top)
Linthicum & Linthicum vs. Bennett, Lynchburg Superior Court 1820
To the Honorable Creed Taylor Chancellor, your orator and oratrix Thomas Linthicum and Mary his wife late Mary Bennett humbly represent that sometime in 1770 the father of the complainant Mary, Rice Bennett, departed this life having first made his Last Will and Testament leaving children beside your oratrix Mary, William Bennett who died underage, unmarried and without issue, and John Bennett, herein often called Defendant, by said Will here introduced and prayed to be taken as part of this Bill which has been duly admitted to record his surviving children are entitled to an equal dividend at the death of their mother or marriage, your orator and oratrix further represent that Sarah Bennett wife of said Rice hath departed this life having previously in the year 1773 made a deed of gift which is here introduced and prayed to be taken as part of this Bill in which it is provided that seventy nine pounds and her thirds of her deceased husband’s estate, one negro woman slave Jenny and her increase which are Sue and David, some live stock and their increase and other property in said deed mentioned should at the death of the donor be equally divided amongst the children of the said or survivors of them and said William dying unmarried and without issue your orator having intermarried with the other complainant your oratrix Mary they are entitled to one equal half of the estate so granted by the said Sarah. Your orator and oratrix further represent that by the Will and Deed aforesaid they are entitled to one equal half of Rice Bennett’s estate and one equal half of Sarah Bennett’s estate and have demanded division thereof and the complainants further set forth that John Bennett for many years ever since to this time has been in possession of both estates and in the full enjoyment of the property thereof yet he refuses to pay division over this equal half or any part thereof all which actings and doings on the part of said Bennett are unjust and oppressive contrary to equity and good conscience without remedy at law and only releavable in Chancery wherefore they pray that said John Bennett be made Defendant and on oath true and perfect to make to all and singular the allegation herein set forth as particularly as if thereto again interrogated and the whole truth set forth and discover that the court will secure to your orator and oratrix such, evident of the monies and estates aforesaid as will be warranted by law and equity by your orator and oratrix will pray..etc. (May term, 1820)
The answer of John Bennett to a bill of Complaint exhibited against him in the Superior Court of Chancery for the Lynchburg District by Thomas Linticum and Mary his wife.
This Defendant reserving and answered and says that his father Rice Bennett made his will in the year 1770 and died in a short time thereafter; that by his said Will he bequeathed to his widow Sarah Bennett the whole of his estate during her widowhood and after her marriage to be equally divided among his three children to wit: the plaintiff Mary, a son named William and this defendant. This defendant was at the death of his father an infant at the breast and knows nothing of his father’s estate but from the information which he has received from others. He has been informed that the said Sarah Rice (sic) qualified as the executrix of the said Rice, and renounced the provision made for her in his Will and took her thirds of his estate. He does not know of any estate left by his father except three negroes, to wit George, Violett, and Jude. He has been informed that Jude had a son named Isaac born after the death of the said Rice and before the thirds of the said Sarah were assigned to her. That the slave Jude was assigned to the said Sarah as her thirds of her husband’s estate. The remaining slaves were hired out by the said Sarah and her second husband Thos. Linthicum (the father of the plaintiff ) until about the year 1781, that the plaintiff himself hired the slave George for the whole or nearly the whole time at the price of £12 per year; that in the year 1781, while this defendant was yet an infant, a division was made of the said Rice Bennett’s estate between the plaintiff Mary and this defendant (their brother William being then dead without issue) in which division the slaves George, then a young man and Isaac, a small boy and the hire of George for many years by an agreement between the mother of this defendant and the plaintiff, were allotted to the plaintiff Mary as her full share of her father’s estate; and the girl Violett, then a small girl, and the woman Jude, encumbered with the life estate of the said Sarah, and a sum of money amounting to some little more than £30, were allotted to him, this defendant. The slave Jude died in the lifetime of the said Sarah, and the only part of his father’s estate which this defendant ever received is the girl Violett and the sum of money above mentioned, while the plaintiff received the slaves George and Isaac and the hire of George for many years.
This defendant admits the deed by which the said Sarah gave a negroe woman Jenny and her increase Sue and David are in his possession. He denies that any other part of the property mentioned in the said deed ever came into his possession. This defendant has been so informed that many years ago, the seventh nine pounds mentioned in the said deed was paid to the plaintiff Thos Linticum in consideration of his relinquishing all claim to the remaining property mentioned in the said deed to this defendant.
This defendant has seen a switing in the handwriting of the plaintiff to this effect among the papers of Thos Linthicum senior to whom the plaintiff homas was executor and there this defendant believes that he either has the writing in his possession or has destroyed it. And this defendant having fully answered prays to be hence dismissed with his costs on this behalf expended etc. John Bennatt 28 April 1820 (Richard Johnson, Justice for Pittsy. Co)
April 27 1820 William Shelton and James Hart, both of Pittsylvania, deposed that Thomas Linthicum, formerly a resident of Pittsylvania Co., had left the county some years ago and was currently living in the state of Tennessee. (Wm Linn, Justice)
November 19, 1818 Pittsylvania County to wit: This day David Terry appeared before me Stockley Turner a justice of the peace for the said county, and made oath that he was present with Mr. Thomas Linthicum at Mr. John Bennett’s on Saturday the 7th of the present November when the said Linthicum produced a copy of a deed of gift from Sarah Bennett to Mary Bennett, Wm Bennett, now deceased, and John Bennett agreeable to a notice, and after demand made by the said Linthicum for a division agreeable to the gift, the said Bennett replied that if Linthicum had any property in the possession of him, said Bennett, prove it and take it, and further this affiant sayeth not. (Nov 19 1818 Sto. Turner)
Major John Bennett of Pittsylvania Co., VA: Sir: I hereby give you notice that I shall attend at your house on Saturday the seventh of this instant November, for the purpose of obtaining an equal division of the money and property in your possession which you hold under a Deed of Gift made by Sarah Bennett to the following persons, namely, Mary Bennett, William Bennett, now deceased, and to yourself, John Bennett, which Deed of Gift bears date the 28th day of August 1773, and duly recorded in the County Court of Cumberland, you will please prepare yourself for the same. I am yours, Thomas Linthicum, in right of my wife Mary Linthicum formerly Mary Bennett 2d November 1818
April 13, 1809 This day settled with Thos Linthicum all accompts that is between him and myself as witness my hand John Bennatt Test: John Dann Ben Terry Bennett to Linthicum receipt