Virginia: In the High Court of Chancery March 16, 1798. Between Robert Pleasants, son and heir of Jon Pleasants, deed. Pltf. and Mary Logan, widow and administratix of Charles Logan, and divisee of John Pleasants and Jonathan Pleasants, deceased, Elizabeth Pleasants, administratix of Joseph Pleasants, deceased, Isaac Pleasants and Jane his wife, Samuel Pleasants, junior, Thomas Pleasants, junior, and Margaret his wife, Robert Langley and Elizabeth his wife, Daniel Teasdale and Margaret his wife, late Margaret Langley, Elizabeth Langley the younger, and Anne May, Defendants

From Wythepedia: The George Wythe Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Published in pamphlet form sometime in 1800 or after, this is one of a succession of cases the High Court of Chancery heard on the legality of the wills of John Pleasants III and his son Jonathan Pleasants that freed their slaves if and when the General Assembly passed a law making it legal to do so.[1]

The decrees of June 7th, September 12th and 26th, 1798, are from the High Court of Chancery of Virginia. Later, in 1799, after the death of Mary Logan, the case was before the Court of Appeals as Pleasants v. Pleasants.

Letter text, 4 July 1776

Page 1

VIRGINIA:

In the High Court of Chancery
March 16, 1798

Between
Robert Pleasants, son and heir of Jon Pleasants, deed. Pltf.
AND

MARY LOGAN, widow and administratix of Charles Logan, and divisee of John Pleasants and Jonathan Pleasants, deceased, Elizabeth Pleasants, administratix of Joseph Pleasants, deceased, Isaac Pleasants and Jane his wife, Samuel Pleasants, junior, Thomas Pleasants, junior, and Margaret his wife, Robert Langley and Elizabeth his wife, Daniel Teasdale and Margaret his wife, late Margaret Langley, Elizabeth Langley the younger, and Anne May,
Defendants.

On the motion of the Plaintiff by his counsel, the court doth order that the Defendants, who are in possession of any slaves that are the subject of controversy between the parties in this suit, do not carry or remove them, or cause them, or any of them, to be carried or removed out of the commonwealth during the pendency of this suit, or until the further order of the court.

June 7, 1798

On the motion of Daniel Teasdale by his counsel, leave is given him to amend his answer, whereupon he filed the same.  

September the 12th, 1798
Between
Robert Pleasants, son and heir of John Pleasants,
Pltf.
And

Cary Pleasants and Mary Pleasants his wife, late Mary Logan, administratrix of Charles Logan, and divisee of John Pleasants and Jonathan Pleasants, Dec'd and others. Deft. And between

Ned, a pauper,
Pltf.
And
Elizabeth Pleasants,
Deft.

IN these causes, which came on last term to be heard the bills, demurrers and answers, and on the testaments of John Pleasants

Page 2

and Jonathan Pleasants, and the Journal of the House of Delegates, exhibited and read, and were argued by counsel, the court on this twelfth day of September, in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight, overruled the demurrers, because the right to freedom proposed to be asserted by the plaintiff on behalf of certain men, women and children detained in slavery, which freedom the former owner of some of them and of the progenitors of others could not bestow, although solicitous to bestow it, during his life time, was, preserved, if it could be preserved, until enjoyment of the bless would be permitted by temporary and conditional bequests of the slaves, with a confidence that in an event which might remove the legal obstacle to deliverance from the thraldom. the legataries would fulfil the testator's desire, so that the intermediate possession of the legataries, if that desire were not inane was fiduciary, & in such a case, the elements, from which juridical arrangements commence, prove the question which hath occurred to be peculiarly proper for praetorian animadversion for decision before a tribunal erected especially to foster and effectuate conscientious fideicommissa: and upon that question which is the capital subject of disceptation and some others in consequence thereof the court declared its opinion in these terms, the condition which the testator, John Pleasants, enjoined the legataries, and which, if it were lawful, excepting the bequest they were obliged implicitly to perform, was not contrary to law. Such a provision for emancipation was not prohibited literally by the statute in 1748, the only instituted law then extant, which can be quoted for that purpose, enacting "that no slave shall be set free, "upon an pretence, except for services to be adjudged by the governor "and council to be meritorious," the statute operated only upon emancipations efficatious immediately, not those of which the efficacy was fortuitous; and ampliation of the statute giving it energy in cases of which similar predicaments might seem to require similar policy, is reprobated in this instance, where the defendants, in a court of equity, are invoking its aid to hinder the restitution of a right, of which they, on whose behalf it is claimed, and their progenitors, could not have been deprived without violation of equitable constitutional principles. An objection urged by one of the counsel for the defendants, if it were not misunderstood, namely, that John Pleasants, who dying before the statute permitted manumission of slaves, enacted in the year 1782, was never authorised to manumit his slaves, could not enjoy manumission of them in any circumstances, is founded upon a position conceived not to be true, unless the act required by the condition to be performed were a malum in se; that a condition requiring performance of an act, not whilst the performance would be unlawful,

Page 3

but when it would, if ever it should be lawful, that such a condition to be performed, not after an intolerable length of time, is unlawful seems an absurd position upon the doctrine of perpetuities, if applicable to any cases, in which human liberty is challenged, can not be found an objection against the slaves existing at the death of the testator, John Pleasants, or against the slaves born after, of mothers existing before his death; for their cases are examples of the legitimate periods, during which emergence or lapse of contingent dispositions may be suspended, namely, where events before the termination of a life or lives existent, or of a life or lives immediately succeeding the existent, must fix the destiny. Here the slaves for whose benefit the testator intended the bequests are first, those of whom he was POSSESSED at the time of his death, and secondly, those of whose MOTHERS he was so possessed. The period of time during ability of the slaves to enjoy when the legislature should permit them to enjoy this benefit was suspended, did not excede the tolerated period. I was during the lives of them, who survived the testator, and of them who were born after his death, of mothers surviving him, so that, in equity, of the slaves, on whose behalf this prosecution was instituted, they who were thirty years old or older, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty two, when the statute authorising manumission was enacted, were, at that time entitled, they, who born before his death are not yet thirty years old, will be when they shall attain that age, intitled to freedom, they who were born between the times of the said testator's death and of enacting the said statute will be when they shall attain the same age intitled to freedom, and they who have been born since the said statute was enacted, were at their birth entitled to freedom; and the plaintiff not only the heir but the surviving executor of the said John Pleasants, is the proper party to vindicate the that freedom, and require fulfilment of his desire repeatedly declared in his testament, and the court doth direct one of the commissioners thereof to report a catalogue of the slaves aforesaid, distinguishing the times when, according to the foregoing opinion, any of them ought therefore to have been and hereafter to be liberated from servitude, and stating accounts of profits, to which they who have been wrongfully detained are intitled.

September 26th, 1798.

The Defendants Cary Pleasants and Mary his wife, late Mary Logan, administratix of Charles Logan, and devisee of John Pleasants and Jonathan Pleasants, deceased, Elizabeth Pleasants, administratix of Joseph Pleasants, deceased, Isaac Pleasants and Jane his wife, Samuel Pleasants, jun. and Thomas Pleasants, junior, and Margaret his wife, in the first suit, and the defendant

Page 4

in the other suit prayed an appeal from the decree pronounced in these causes on the twelfth day of the present month, which is allowed them on their giving bond and security in each suit in the penalty of twenty pounds, with such condition as the law requires.

June 5th, 1799

In these causes, in order that the decree of the Court of Appeals, which certified by the clerk thereof in the following words - "At a Court of Appeals, held at the Capitol in the City of Richmond, the sixth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, Cary Pleasants & Mary Pleasants his wife, late Mary Logan, administratix of Charles Logan, and devisee of John Pleasants and Jonathan Pleasants, deceased, Elizabeth Pleasants, adminstratrix of Joseph Pleasants, Isaac Pleasants and Jane his wife, Samuel Pleasants, jun. and Margaret his wife, appellants against Robert Pleasants, son and heir of John Pleasants, appellee, and Elizabeth Pleasants appellant against Ned, a pauper, appellee, upon appeals from a decree of the High Court of Chancery, pronounced the twelfth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight. "This day came the parties by their counsel, and the court having maturely considered the transcript of the record, and the argument of the counsel, is of opinion that there is no error in so much the decree of the said High Court of Chancery, as overruleth the demurrers of the appellants Mary Pleasants, Isaac Pleasants and Samuel Pleasants, jun. for want of jurisdiction in the said court; but that there is error in some of the principles, on which the decree upon the merits is founded,and part of the reasoning thereupon is note approved by this court, therefore it is decreed and ordered, that so much of the said decree as overruleth the said demurrers be affirmed, and that the residue of the said decree be reversed, and this court proceeding to make such decree as the said High court of Chancery should have pronounced, is of opinion, that although the testators at the time of making their respective wills had not power to manumit, and if they had devised them upon conditions that the devisees should emancipate them immediately, the condition being unlawful would have been void, and the property vested, yet the condition that they should become free when the law would permit it, was not of that sort. That to apply the rule respecting the limitation of the remainder of a chatted upon too remote a contingency, with all its consequences, to the present case, would be too rigid, but that a reasonable principle ought to be adopted to suit its peculiar circumstances, which is this,that if the event happens whilst the slaves remain in the possession of the family without change by the intervention of creditors

Page 5

or purchasers since the contending parties would be those whose interest had been contemplated by the testators, the bequest ought to take place, but that the case of such intervening claims not being in the view of the testators it ought to be considered how far they should in equity prevent the devise of the manumission from taking effect. So far therefore as concerns the the family, the court would have had no difficulty in decreeing in favor of the paupers, if the wills had directed a general emancipation, when permitted by law, and the legislature had permitted it without any condition annexed; but a difficulty arises from the testators' not having directed a general manumission, when allowed by law, but a limited one, directing that all future generations of these people born whilst their mothers were under thirty should serve to that age, founded by no doubt, upon considerations of the interest of his family, and that of the slaves on which middle state the legislature have not declared their will, and on the other hand the legislature have permitted an unlimited emancipation, but annexed a condition imposing upon the the person liberating certain terms for the sake of the community, of which the persons making voluntary manumissions might judge, whether they would do the act upon these terms and use their pleasure: and on these terms the testaters have not declared their minds whether they would or would not have compelled the devisees against their inclination to emancipate subject to them. Under this difficulty, the court endeavored to model a decree to effect the purpose of the paupers without essentially violating the wills, and is of opinion that the limited manumission, according to the modifications, in the wills of the testators, can alone take place and be decreed, and that the terms for securing the public against the maintenance of the aged or infirmed, cannot be equitably imposed upon the devisees. It is therefor further decreed and ordered, that all the slaves of which the testators were possessed as their property, at the time of their respective deaths, not subject to the claims of the creditors or purchasers, before stated, and who are now above the age of forty five years, and their increase, born after their respective mothers had attained the age of thirty years (so soon as Robert Pleasants the executor, the several trustees, or any other person, shall in the courts of the several counties in which the said slave respectively reside, enter into bonds, with approved security, payable to the justices then sitting in each court, and their successors, with the condition that the said slaves shall not become chargeable to the "public, or enter into one such bond for the whole General Court,) and sit such as are now above thirty and under the age "of forty-five years immediately shall be emancipated and set

Page 6

free to all intents and purposes, in like manner as if they had been born free; and that all who are now under the age of thirty, and whose mothers had not attained that age at the time of their birth, and all their future descendants, born whilst their mothers are in such service, do serve their several owners, until they shall respectively attain the age of thirty years and they be in like manner free, and when their freedom shall severally take effect according to this decree, there shall be delivered to each of them, by their respective masters or mistresses, a certificate, written or printed, attesting their freedom in such form as shall be directed by the said High Court of Chancery. That no account ought to be taken of profits, it being unused in such cases and less reasonable in this very difficult one. And the cause is remanded to the said High Court of Chancery for a state to be taken of the present condition of the several persons, and their rights ascertained, according to the principles of this decree, also for further proceedings to be had respecting the claims of Elizabeth Pleasants and Daniel Teasdale to part of the slaves, under paramount to the will of John Pleasants, and the claims of the creditors of Charles Logan, upon proper statements of the facts and exhibits relative thereto, which they are to be at liberty to introduce in the said court, which is ordered to be certified to the said High Court of Chancery. A copy, J. Brown, C.C," if it be not misunderstood by him, whom the law requireth to enter it as his own, may be excepted; this court doth direct that a commissioners thereof do report, first the names and sexes of the slaves of which the testators intended by the said decree, were possessed, as their property at the time of their respective deaths, not subject to the claims of the creditors or purchasers in the decree stated and who were, when the decree was pronounced, above the age of forty five years, and their increase, born after their respective mothers had attained the age of thirty years (so soon as Robert Pleasants, the executor, the several trustees or any other person shall in the courts of the several counties, in which the said slaves respectively reside, enter into bonds, with approved securities payable to the justices then sitting in each court, and their successors with condition that the said slaves shall not be become chargeable to the public, or enter into one such bond for the whole in the General Court) and all such as were, when the decree was pronounced above thirty and under the age of forty-five years, and secondly, the names and sexes of the slaves of which the testors were possessed as their property at the time of their respective deaths, and who were, when the decree was pronounced, under the age of thirty, and whose mothers had not attained that age at their birth: and this court doth order, that when the freedom

Page 7

of the slaves shall severally take effect, according to the decree of the Court of Appeals, there shall be delivered to each of them, by their respective masters of mistresses, a certificate, written or printed, attesting their freedom in this form: --- is emancipated and set free according to the decree of the Court of Appeals, in May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine.

June 7th, 1799


Thomas Pleasants of Beaverdam, James Pleasants of Goochland, William Mosely, Frederick Woodson and William Bentley, or any three of them, are appointed commissioners for performing the order made in these causes on Wednesday last, in place of a commissioner of the court.

September 10th, 1799

On the motion of the plaintiff in the first suit by his counsel, Benjamin Goode, George Williamson, Abell Janney, James Denson Ladd, Robert Evans, John Nicholas and John Ponsonby are added to the commissioners heretofore appointed to perform the order made in these causes on the fifth day of June last, who, or any two of whom are empowered to execute the same.

Virginia,---In the High Court of Chancery, May 22nd, 1797.

Between

Ned,  .   .   .   .   .   Plaintiff.

and

Elizabeth Pleasants, . . Defendant.

On the motion of Ned, who is detained in slavery by the defendant, he is allowed to sue his said mistress in this court, in forma pauperis, and John Warden is assigned his counsel to prosecute the said suit; and it is ordered, that his said mistress do not presume to beat or misuse him upon this account, and that she suffer him to come to the clerk's office for commissions to take the depositions of his witnesses and to attend their examinations and the trial, and commissions are awarded the parties to examine and take the depositions of their witnesses.

Page 8

LIST OF NEGROES in the possession of Samuel Pleasants, held under the wills of John & Jonathan Pleasant; whose ages were ascertained by Thomas Pleasant, James Pleasants. William Moseley and Frederick Woodson, on the 19th day of August, 1797.

 


 

Persons above the age of 45 years.

David, Saunders, Ceasar, York, London, Nanny, Charlotte, Sall, Arthur, Will, Maria, Judy, Phillis, Poader -- In all 13.  


 

Persons between the age of 30 & 45 years old.

Sterling 1, Frederick 2, Joe, Phil 4, Tom 5, Harry 6, Jacob Powder 7, George 8, Jacob 9, Dull 10, Ben 11, Pender 12, John Powder 13, Silvia 14, Frank Cozens 15, Chloe Cozens 16, Peter 17, Aggy 18, Bob 19, Fanny 20, Nelly 21, Betts 22, James 23, Patty 24, Lucy Gloster 25, Cuffy 26, Sukey 27, Sukey 28, Amy 29.

 


 

Persons born of mothers after they were 30 years old.

 

Jack 1, George 2, Pender 3, York 4, Amy 5, Eve 6, Joe 7, Neily, 8, David, 9, Molly 10, Rose 11, Kate 12, Jacobs 13, Phebe 14, Lucy 15, Delphia 16, Lilly 17, Mourning 18, Tabb 19, Caesar 20, Sally 21, Mourning 22, Hampton 23, Jerry 24, Aggy 25, May Anne 26, Alice 27, Amy 28, Rachel 29.

 


 

Persons judged to be infirm and unable to earn a support, entitled to freedom when 30 years old.

Nancy 25 years old, Isabel, born 1782; John, born July 1788 - In all 3.

Page 9

Persons born of mothers under 30 years old, and entitled to fredom [sic] at that age.

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

Solomon   May 1772   May 1802
Dorcass   February 1782   February 1812
Hannah   October 1784   October 1814
Lucy   April 1787   April 1817
Sterling   April 1789   April 1819
Peter   January 1792   January 1822
Joe   September 1794   September 1824
Charlotte   April 1784   April 1814
Biddy   April 1786   April 17th 1816
Mourning   1787 1787   Decemb. 25 1817
Winter   1789 1789   October 1819
Gabriel   1792 1792   March 1822
Lewis   May 1794   May 1824
Rainey   September 1796   September 1826
Ben   February 1799   February 1829
Frank   May 1777   May 1807
Hannah   May 1779   May 1809
Thornton   July 1781   July 1811
Henry   December 1786   December 1816
Milly   February 1789   February 1819
Ridley   September 1791   September 1821
Frederick   October 1793   October 1823
Frank   April 1795   April 1825
Ben   May 15th 1782   May 15th 1812
Luke   July 1784   July 1814
Nat   March 1789   March 1819
Isaac   March 1788   March 1818
Alace   April 1790   April 1820
Betty   August 1775   August 1805
Beck   June 1795   June 1825
Phil   May 1797   May 1827
Ned Abrey   August 9th 1799   August 9th 1829
Critty   March 1777   March 1807
Sall   October 1778   October 1808
Janey   February 1784   April 1814
Hester   November 1786   November 1816
Patience   March 1783   March 1813
Milton   April 1785   April 1815
Anderson   May 1787   May 1817
Clarissa   June 1789   June 1819
Caroline   July 1792   July 1822

Page 10

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

Rhubin   August 1793   August 1823
Arthur   August 1795   August 1825
Mary   Decem. 23 1775   Decem. 23 1805
Fanny   January 1792   January 1822
Bob   May 28th 1795   May 28 1825
Celia   May 28th 1798   May 28 1828
Toney   May 1776   May 1806
Janey   December 1775   December 1805
Phebe   January 15 1797   January 15 1827
Judy   January 31 1799   January 31 1829
Doll   November 1774   November 1804
Ursula   May 1789   May 1819
Peyton   August 1791   August 1821
Julia   August 1793   August 1823
Grace   October 1795   October 1825
Jim   January 1798   January 1828
Charles   August 1774   August 1804
Will   December 1776   December 1806
Bridget   November 1783   November 1813
Watt   August 1770   August 1800
Rachel   May 1778   December 1808
Maria   August 1795   November 1825
Aggy   March 1798   March 1828
Lydia   September 1780   September 1810
Moses   March 1797   March 1827
Charles   Novemb. 3 1798   Novemb. 3 1828
James   October 5 1788   October 5 1818
Anthony   April 23 1791   April 23 1821
Myrtilla   Novemb. 29 1792   Novem. 29 1822
Lucy   August 28 1794   August 28 1824
Isaac   Novemb. 18 1796   Novem. 18 1826
Judy   Novemb. 5 1798   Novem. 5 1828
Judith   August 1793   August 1803
Duncan   August 1793   August 1823
Hall   March 1780   March 1810
Caesar   August 1788   August 1818
Gloster   August 1793   August 1823
Nancy   August 1790   August 1820
Caesar   May 1774   May 1804
Aggy   August 1777   August 1807
Celina   August 1795   August 1825
Milly   August 1790   August 1800
Stephen   November 1777   November 1807
Phillis   August 1772   August 1802

Page 11

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

Jacob   September 1790   September 1790
Abby   February 1782   February 1812
Mingo   October 1797   October 1827
Jim   December 1777   December 1807
Eve   June 1779   June 1809
Phillis   December 1781   December 1811
Lavinia   June 1783   June 1813
Gloster   December 1784   December 1814
Tom   June 1786   June 1816
Frank   December 1787   December 1817
Lucy   December 1789   December 1819
Mike   June 1791   June 1821
Abraham   June 1793   June 1823
Jessee   December 1778   December 1808
Tabb   December 1780   December 1810
Cuffy   December 1782   December 1812
London   December 1786   December 1816
Biddy   December 1788   December 1818
Nelly   December 1785   December 1815
Sall   September 1787   September 1817
Nanny   May 1791   May 1821
Poll   May 1795   May 1825
Judy   January 1781   January 1811
Adeline   May 1799   May 1829
Amy   August 1773   August 1803
Joe   June 1781   June 1811
Corey   December 1782   December 1812
Moses   December 1784   December 1814
Molly   May 1786   May 1816
Patty   October 1789   October 1819

In all 115.


List of NEGROES in the possession of Isaac W. Pleasants, held under the wills of John & Jonathan Pleasants; whose ages were ascertained by Thomas Pleasants, James Pleasants, William Mosely and Frederick Woodson, on the 19th Day of Aug. 1799.

Persons above the age of 45 years.


Persons between 30 and 45 years old.
Janey 1, Phillis 2, Hannah 3, invalids, Peter 4.

Page 12

Persons born of mothers under 30 years old and entitled to freedom at that age.

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

Billy   November 1778   November 1808
John   January 1781   January 1811
Sall   June 1782   June 1812
Gaby   December 1783   December 1813
Charles   December 1784   December 1814
Sall   June 1773   June 1803

The above lists was taken agreeable to a decree of the High Court of Chancery. Given underour hands the day and year above written.

William Moseley, Frederick Woodson,

James Pleasants, Thomas Pleasants.


List of Negroes in possession of Robert Cary Pleasants, and formerly possession of Charles & Mary Logan, held under the wills of John & Jonathan Pleasants, whose ages were ascertained by William Moseley, William Bentley & Frederick Woodson, commissioners by the High Court of Chancery for that purpose, August 23rd, 1799.

Persons above 45 years old.

Tom 1, Pompey 2, Will 3, Cato 4, Ned 5, Doll 6, Rachel 7, Amy 8, Jacob 9, Ned Gwin 10, Billy 11, Sarah 12, Richard Sharp 13, Nat 14.


Persons between 30 and 45 years old.

Nelly 1, Fanny 2, John Grey 3, Rachel Grey 4, David 5, Jessee 6, Mirtilla 7, Easter 8, Grace 9, Bob (son of Judy) 10, Sam Binns 11, Mirtilla 12, Mary 13, Mourning 14, Caesar 15.


Persons born after their mothers were 30 years old.

Anthony 1, Arthur 2, Louisa 3, Emmily 4, Ned 5, Daniel 6, Bob Grey 7, Paul Grey 8, Tarlton 9, Bartley 10, Critty 11, Sukey (a cripple) 12, Charlotte 13, Milly 14, Billy 15, Sally 16, Jack 17, Tom 18, Ursula 19, Moses 20, Jack 21, Mirtilla 22, Jesse 23, Kesiah 24, Frederick 25, Tom 26, Doctor 27, John 28, Rachel 29, Sally 30, Gaby 31, Winny 32, Diey 33, Elijiah 34, Caesar 35, Mourning Woodson 36, Fanny Woodson 37, Sam Woodson 38, Joseph Woodson 39, Lewis Moseley 40, Letty Moseley 41, Sterling 42, Peter 43, Frank 44.

Page 13

Persons born of mothers under 30 years old and entitled to freedom at that age.

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

Hampton   December 1782   December 1812
Mourning   August 1789   August 1819
Polly Copland   March 1783   March 1813
Fanny Copland   December 1785   December 1815
Dick Copland   August 1787   August 1817
John Copland   August 1789   August 1819
Sam Randolph   August 1770   August 1800
Edith   March 1779   March 1809
Lucy   August 1770   August 1800
Lydia   March 1780   March 1810
Tabitha   August 1778   August 1808
Effee   February 1793   February 1823
Isham   February 1791   February 1821
Lavinia   February 1795   February 1825
Polly   December 1797   December 1827
Charles   March 1798   March 1828
Henrietta   August 1794   August 1824
Phillis   August 1781   August 1811
Molly   March 1783   March 1813
Stephen   August 1784   August 1814
Ben   March 1786   March 1816
Nancy (a cripple)   August 1787   August 1817
Sam Binns, Jun.   August 1789   August 1819
Dick Baugh   May 1771   May 1801
Beck   March 1798   May 1828
Kate   November 1772   November 1802
Jacob   May 1774   May 1804
Ned   May 1777   May 1807
Judy   August 1784   August 1814
David   November 1778   November 1808
Nancy   March 1795   March 1825
Shasteen   August 1796   August 1826
Betty Ampy   August 1773   August 1803
James   April 1790   April 1820
Thruston   August 1795   August 1825
Bentley   April 1794   April 1824
Addison   May 1799   May 1829
Frank   February 1794   February 1824
Haskins   May 1795   May 1825
Henry   August 1796   August 1826
Peyton   July 1798   July 1828
Lewis   August 1776   August 1806

Page 14

Names.

When born.

When to be discharged.

George   August 1787   August 1817
Harrison   September 1791   September 1821
Peter   August 1780   August 1810
Biddy   March 1782   March 1812
Kitty   August 1790   August 1820
Abraham   January 1780   January 1810
Fleming   August 1781   August 1811
Saunders   March 1782   March 1812
Little Billy   August 1785   August 1815
Judy   August 1787   August 1817
James   August 1787   August 1817
Emanuel   August 1795   August 1825
Janey   August 1797   August 1827
Lucy   August 1772   August 1802
Sam   August 1775   August 1805
Lewis   April 1777   April 1807
Ned   August 1779   August 1809
Sarah   August 1781   August 1811
Aby   April 1783   April 1813
Reubin   December 1784   December 1814
Hannah   March 1792   March 1822
Peggy   March 1794   March 1824
William   August 1796   August 1826
Johnson   July 1798   July 1828
Matilda   January 1796   January 1826
Sukey   November 1797   November 1827
Joe   August 1775   August 1805
Milly   March 1777   March 1807
July   August 1779   August 1809
Aaron   March 1781   March 1811
Davy   August 1783   August 1813
Sukey   August 1785   August 1815
Billy   April 1783   April 1813
Phillis   April 1778   April 1808
Simeon   August 1779   August 1809
John   April 1781   April 1811
Sylvia   August 1782   August 1812
Watt   April 1784   April 1814
Mourning   March 1798   March 1828
Robin Cuffy   March 1777   March 1807
Alexander   August 1778   August 1808
Pero   April 1786   April 1816
Billy Woodson   August 1782   August 1812
Davy Woodson   April 1781   April 1811
Joseph Moseley   August 1779   August 1809

87 Total.

Page 15

The foregoing lists were made in pursuance of a decree of the High Court of Chancerry. Given under hands the day and year above written.

Win Moseley,
W. Bentley,
Frederick Woodson,


List of negroes, formerly the estate of John Pleasants, deceased, and by his Will given to his grand daughter Margaret, his wife of Thomas Pleasants, jun. under certain conditions, and now held as part of the estate of the said Thomas Pleasants.


No. 1 Pender,   born in 1742,       57 years of age  
  2 Tom, her son, 1759,   40 do.  
3 Biddy, of do. 1761,   38 do.  
4 Oliff, of do. 1765,   34 do. } all free.
5 Obra, of do. 1762,   31 do.  
6 Lewis, of do. 1774,   25 do.  
born after his mother was 30 years of age.  

List of negroes, held under the wills of John & Jonathan Pleasants, as part of the estate of Charles & Mary Logan, dec. in Henrico county.

  7 Lucy,   born in 1746,       53 years of age  
  8 Sylvia Gray, her daughter 1769,   30 do.  
  9 Charles Gray, son of do. June. 1791,   to be free in 1821  
  10 Peter Gray, of do. June. 1793,     do. 1823  
  11 Patty Gray, of do. Sept. 1798,     do. 1828  
  12 Sylvia, daughter of Phillis 1755,     do. 44 years old.  
  13 Billy, son of do. Jan. 1787,     born free  
  14 Tom, son of do. Oct. 1788,     do.  
    their mother being 30 years old at their birth.
  15 Mary Loudon,   born in 1753,     46 year old.  
  16 Beck, daughter of Sucky, Sep. 1775,     to be free in 1805  
  17 David, son of de. March 1797,     do. 1827  
  18 Anna of do. May 1799,     do. 1829  
  19 Sally, daughter of Sukey, Sept. 1784, born after her
mother was 30 years of age.
} born free

Henrico county, September 21st, 1799.

Pursuant to a commission to us directed, from the High Court of Chancery, We have examined into the ages and sexes of several negroes in a decree of the said court mentioned, and agreeable to the above statement, which we hereby certify to be just, to the best of our knowledge and belief.

Benjamin Goode.
Geo. Williamson.
Abel Janney.

Page 16

BETWEEN

Robert Pleasants, son and heir of John Pleasants, Plaintiff,

and

Cary Pleasants and Mary Pleasants his wife, late Mary Logan, administratrix of Charles Logan and devisee of John Pleasants & Jonathan Pleasants deceased, Elizabeth Pleasants, admininstratrix of Joseph Pleasants, deceased, Isaac Pleasants, and Jane his wife, Samuel Pleasants, junior, Thomas Pleasants, junior, and Margaret his wife, Robert Langley and Elizabeth his wife, Daniel Teasdale and Margaret his wife, late Margaret Langley, Elizabeth Langley the younger, and Anne May, Defendants.

And between
Ned, a pauper,   Plaintiff,
and
Elizabeth Pleasants,   Defendant.

The Court, this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine, taking into consideration the report of William Moseley, William Bentley and Frederick Woodsonl and also the report of Benjamin Goode, George Williamson and Abel Janny, persuant to the decretal order made in this cause on the fifth day of June last, to which reports were no exceptions, doth approve and confirm the same: in consequence whereof the slaves in the said reports mentioned to be above thirty and under the age of forty five years, are immediately entitled to certifites attesting their freedom, in the form prescribed by the said decretal order.


A LIST OF NEGROES found in the possession of Daniel Teasdale and others, which appear to be derived from the wills of John Pleasants and Jonathan his son.

In the possession of Daniel Teasdale the following Negroes, the issue of Suky, now dead, who was devised by the said Jonathan Pleasants to Margaret the wife of the said Teasdale.

Suky dec'd at the time of her last child's birth, was aged 41 years.

1. Isabel, her daughter, aged 21, free in 9 years.
2 Hampton, her son     20, do. 10
3 Molly,     14, do. 16
4 Frank,     13, do. 17
5. 6. 7. Jack, 11 years; Suky 8 years, and Peter 4 years; all born free, as their mother was then 30 years of age.
8. Numa, aged 21, son of Fanny, free in 9 years.

Page 17

9. Charles, her son, born in December, 1783,   now 16.
10. Chloe,   October, 1785,   now 14
11. Tom,   September, 1787, now 12
12. Jack,   April, 1789, now 10
 
Of course Charles is free in 14 years, Chloe in 16 years, and Tom and Jack born free, their mother then 30 years.
13. Jenny, aged 35, in the possession of Robert Pleasants, jun.
14. Cis, her daughter, born Sept. 1783, 16 years, free in 14.
15. Betty,     14, 16.
16. Sally,     12 18.
17, Jenny,     11, 19.
18. Sharper,     7, 23.
19. Fanny,   April 1794 5, Born free
} their mother
then30 years.
20. Charles,   Decemb. 1796, 3,
21. Jack,   March 1799, 6 Mo.
22. Will, aged 56 years } In the possession of Robert Langley's estate.
23. Cesar, 61,
24. Benjamin, 76, and
25. Lucy, his wife, 61
26. Sharper, 38, of Hannah, now free.


In consequence of a commission to us directed, from the High Court of Chancery, we have examined into the ages and sexes of several Negroes which appears to us to be comprised in a decree of the said court ordering the said commission, and having placed the same against the name of each Negro, according to the list upon the first page of this paper, and also the list upon page the third, continued to page the fourth, and do hereby certify the same, to the best of our knowledge, in Dinwiddie county, this eighteenth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine.

Abel Janney,
John Ponsonby,


A List of Negroes that are part of those, or the descendants of those Negroes, appraised as the estate of John Pleasants, of Curles (deceased, in the month of August 1773, said to have been sold to him the said Pleasants, by Robert Langley, now deceased, and which appears to have been made previously liable by an instrument of writing now on record in the county of Dinwiddie, for the payment of £300 currency, due Roger Atkinson, now dec'd, dated October the 21, 1765, and which are now in the possession of the different persons placed opposite to their names, or at the head of each list.

Page 18

In the possession of Daniel Teasdale, held in right of his wife
Margaret, daughter of Robert Langley.
1. Amy, a Negro woman, 49 years old.    
2. Sampson, man, 33 do. of Hannah
3. Chloe, woman, 30 do. of do.
4. Jacob, son of Amy 20 do.  
5. Dick, of Pendar, 28 do.  
6. Letty, of do. 26 do.  
7. Ned, of do. 24 do.  
8. Billy, of Chloe, 12 do.  
9. King, of do. 7 do.  
10. Patty, of do. 5 do.  
11. Eve, of do. 4 do.  
12. Chloe, of do. 2 do.  
13. Joe, of Letty, 4 do.  
14. Pendar, of do. 2 do.  
In the possession of Thos. Lewis, in right of his wife Ann,
daughter of Robert Langley
15. Jack, of Hannah,   aged 35.  
16. Hannah, of Amy,   16.  
17. Fanny, of do.   14.  
18. Lucy, of do.   12.  
19. Hannah, of do.   12.  
20. Davy, of do.   29.  
In the possession of Robt. Pleasants. jun. in right of his
wife Elizabeth, daugther of Robt. Langley
21. Pendar,     aged 46 years.  
22. Peter,     42.  
23. Israel, of Amy,   10.  
24. Betty, of Pendar,   18.  
25. Jack, of do.   17.  
26. Beck, of do.   14.  

VIRGINIA,

In the High Court of Chancery, March the 19th, 1800.

The Court, this nineteenth day of March, in the eighteen hundredth year of the Christian area, taking into consideration the report of Abel Janney, and John Ponsonby, bearing date the eighteenth day of September in the last year, to which report was no exception, doth approve and confirm so much thereof as relates to the descendants of the Negro slave Suky, said to have been devised by Jonathan Pleasants to Margaret, the wife of Daniel Teasdale; in consequence whereof such of the descendants of the said Suky, mentioned in the said report to be above thirty and under the age of forty five years, are immediately intitled to certificates attesting their freedom on in the form prescribed by the decretal order made in this cause on the fifth day of June last.

The foregoing Orders, Decrees, and Reports, are true copies from the originals, in the suits of Pleasants & c. v. Logan, et al, and Ned, a pauper, v. Pleasants.

Teste,

See also

References

  1. Virginia: In The High Court of Chancery, March 16, 1798. Between Robert Pleasants, Son and Heir of John Pleasants... and Mary Logan ([Richmond, VA], 1800?)

External links