Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Frederick County, Maryland 1813

1813 Frederick County, Maryland Manuscript Legal Brief Documents in a court case involving the death of a male Negro Slave named Harry for sale on Ebay Item number: 280261275456.

These rare, Slavery related legal documents from Frederick Co., Maryland are variously dated between February and June of 1813. They are a portion of the record a fascinating slavery case in which Roger B. Taney served as attorney for the defendants. The case involved the purchase of a slave who, unknown to the purchaser, was in poor health and died of consumption shortly after the purchase was completed. The slave, named Harry, was sold by George French (who were represented by Roger Taney) to Peter Brengle, who testifies that on the first day after the purchase he observed “(Harry) to be weak and sick (and) asked him what ailed, Harry answered that he was weak and had a pain in the breast...had been so for a year or two...”. A doctor's deposition (included here) states that he was called by Brengle “to visit his negro who they called Harry...and found his case desperate, (telling Brengle) you will lose Harry in a few days as he is in the last stage of a deep consumption of the Lungs and cannot survive many days“. Another witness testified that in a tavern conversation with George French (after the sale of Harry) French said Brengle would have to pay for (Harry), though the negro never was worth a damn, and during the lifetime of Mr. Scott, his old master, he was constantly Sick or complaining of a sore throat head ach, and pain in his neck.”. The 2 Documents present include the include the original Appointment of one Ezra Mantz to obtain depositions in the case of Brengle vs French and to deliver those depositions to the Frederick County Court. It is this Document that identifies Roger Taney (the future Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court) as attorney for George French. The second document consists of 4 pages written by Ezra Mantz relating the information taken as depositions from various witnesses produced by the plaintiff and the defendant.

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