Monthly Archives: February 2009

Chancery Case, Giles County, 1813

John Peters and wife etc. vs. Executors of Mitchell Clay
Chancery Court, Giles County, VA, 1813

“The separate Answer of Mitchel Clay ^Jr to a bill
in Chancery exhibited by John Peters & Sally his
wife in the County Court of Giles against the
said Mitchell Clay Jr. Charles Clay William
Clay & Henry Clay as executors of Mitchell Clay
decd. this deft Mitchell Clay Jr reserving to himself
the benefit of the usual exceptions to the many
untruths and uncertainties contained in the compt
bill, for answer thereto, or as much as he is advised
is necessary for him to answer saith – That
he never heard his father Mitchell Clay decd promise
to give to his daughter Sally the negroes Phebe & those
mentioned in the Complainants bill but on the contra-
ry he hath frequently heard him say that the
said John Peters never should have a negro of
his, that he did not like him so well and this
defendant further states that he never to his recollect-
tion heart of the said gift or promise untill at
^or shortly after a certain time when the said Mitchell Clay
decd at a certain time when he lay sick lay sick and expected
to die a demand of the said negroes was made
thro a certain [party?]. And this deft also states
that, the demand so offended the said Mitchell
that he would not permit his daughter Sally
nor the said Peters to enter his house, for some
time, after, And this deft states that he had
reason to believe that neither the father nor mother
of the said Sally were willing to the said Marriage
And that they never would have consented to it
but by and thro the persuasions of this deft
and others, And that this deft has heard the said
Mitchell state the following reasons, that some of
the family were crooked and deformd footed, that
it was reported that the father of the said John
Peters had been security in the county that he had
moved from and that he was about to put all
his property out of his hands, And this deft
states that he expects to be able to prove that some
of the family connections ^of the said Clay were unwilling to go to
the wedding alledging as the reason that the marriage
was so displeasing to that said Mitchell that he
would breed a disturbance in the company.
This defendant admits that the said Mitchell
Clay shortly before his decease made his last will
and Testament now of record in the County Court
of Giles which deft prays may be taken and
made a part of his Answer wherein he
devised the said negroes to this deft Charles Clay
William Clay & Henry Clay as therein stated.
This defendant states that he never did at
any time in his life exercise or endeavor to exer-
cise any influence whatever over the said Mitchell
Clay in making the said will – and Testament
nor the codicil thereto annexed further than that
on a certain time me mentioned to the said Mit
chell, that he thought he had hardly give this
Deft and Wm Clay a fair chance as he the sd Mitchell had pd
some money for Chas and Henry, that the said Mit
-chell replied that made no [----?], he would do as he
he [repeated word] thought proper with his own to which
observation this deft [properly] acquiesced. This deft
states that the said Sally bestowed no more labor
in nursing and raising the said Mose, nor other
-wise than was her bounden duty, as a child –
This defendant positively denies any and all the
allegations in the said Compts. bill which goes
to charge him with conduct fraudulent iniqui
-tous or unjust, and having fully answered the premises
in the Compts. bill so far as he is at present
able to do prays that he may hims be dis
missd with his costs in this behalf expended.”

Source: “The Separate Answer of Mitchel Clay,” original document in case file 1812-00, Chancery Court of Giles County, VA, viewed in the Archives Research Room, Library of Virginia, Richmond.

Categories: extracts | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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