Petition #11482204


Robert Johnson, executor of the late David Beatty, reminds the legislature that his testator devised freedom to the slaves in his possession at the time of his death and requested that they be settled in the Indiana Territory. He further reports that Beatty's sister, Ann Hope, filed suit to prevent said emancipation and that said "contest was finally determined in favour of the will," allowing "your petitioner one year from that time to use every legal means to procure the emancipation of the negroes." Beset by ill health, Johnson admits that several months elapsed before he could proceed but he states that when "he was ready to remove those unfortunate persons to Indianna, and that anxious hope which they had so long indulged in [was] about to be consummated, they were yet doomed to further disapointment." He declares that "the son of Mrs Ann Hope came in the night time to where the negroes were ... and forcibly & Secretly took them away, carried them off and concealed them from your petitioner." Johnson, having regained possession of said slaves, now submits that Ann Hope and friends have suggested "that if by such means your petitioner should procure the freedom of said Slaves they will make him responsible out of his own estate ... for the value of them." Avowing that “nothing Stands opposed to the just [demands] of these Slaves to their freedom but avarice ... which would sacrafice the liberty & happiness of these persons,” the petitioner commits the slaves to “your hands ... hoping that you will mete unto them that measure of Justice which you would have others measure unto you.”

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Citation information

Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee