Sunday, February 28, 2010

George W. Hutchinson, Kanawha, Virginia 1843

Deposition of George W. Hutchinson, with note attached, dated Kanawha, Virginia Sep 23 1843, regarding the hiring of a slave boy in Virginia, that had ended in dispute; addressed to Clerk of District Court for Iowa Territory, Muscatine City, Bloomington, with faint Cincinnati, Ohio, (date unclear) postmark.

Seems sometime in the months of either Jan or Feb 1842, Hutchinson was in Kanawha, Virginia (now West Virginia), and was present when Benjamin Bowman hired, "a certain Negro boy named Squire," who previously been employed by Charles G. Reynolds. Hutchinson said that he had heard Reynolds tell Bowman that he would not hire the boy, "remarking that he would not give his victuals & clothes for him, he being so frequently laid up and unable to work ..." Hutchinson had done business with Reynolds during 1842, "and knew the service rendered generally by said boy, as well as in 1841 and 1842, and knew he was unable to render service on half of the time ..." The statement is signed by George W. Hutchinson. Following Hutchinson's deposition is one signed by Lyman Evans, who stated that Squire had been employed "occasionally at easy work on the farm and hauling provisions and the like, frequently laid up and unable to work. Said boy was clothed and boarded by ... Reynolds ..." At the Kanawha court hearing, Reynolds asked Lyman Evans, "What would you consider the reasonable value of the services of Squire in the year 1842, over his board & clothes?" To which Reynolds replied, "I should have estimated his board and clothes a full equivalent for the services rendered by him ..." Attached to the deposition is a forwarding note reading, "Mr. Amos Barnett. Take notice on the 23d day of Sep 1843, at the store of Lewis Ruffner in the County of Kanawha Va, I shall take the deposition of George W. Hutchinson and others to be read as evidence on ... a suit ... in the District Court of Iowa Territory and for the County of Muscatine, in which you are plaintiff and I am defendant, when & where you may attend, if you please ... [signed] Charles G. Reynolds.

This fantastic document is up for sale on Ebay Item number:250584429995

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