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AMEY EVANS FREEDOM SUIT, 1799

 

It was noted in the Court proceedings filed in 1809, that some of the depositions from the earlier Brunswick County hearings had been "lost" from the district courthouse. A recent posting (11/29/2015) on the Afrigeneas forums by Paul Heinegg, alerted me to the fact that those missing pages have been found in the Brunswick County District Court Records, copies of which I also obtained from the Library of Virginia website, and which I am posting my transcriptions of them.  I am also including the original images of the documents attached at the bottom of this page. This information has further helped to give more accurate dates for the families involved and I hope that you will take note of those changes in the Evans-Gibson Timeline.

 
To the Honorable James Henry Esqr. Judge of the Brunswick District Court.
The petition of Amey Evans, Charles Evans, Susanna Evans, Sinar Evans, Solomon Evans, Frankey Evans, Sally Evans, Milley Evans, Adam Evans and Hannah Evans, humbly showeth.
That your petitioners are lineally descended from a certain Francis Evans, who lived and died a free-woman.
That the said Frances Evans having bound one of her daughters named Frances as an apprentice to a certain _________ Lightfoot of New Kent County, the said Lightfoot did sell her as a slave [crossed out: to a certain Meriwether], and in consequence of the said sale the said Frances Evans and your petitioners her descendants have been detained in slavery, and are now detained in slavery by a certain David Allen of Mecklenburg county.
Your petitioners therefore pray that your honor will permit that they bring a suit in this honorable court in forma pauperis against the said David Allen for their freedom, counsel may be assigned to them, & your petitioners as in duty bound will pray.

Having examined into the circumstances of the above stated case, I am humbly of opinion that the petitioners are entitled to their freedom.
E D Saylor Practicing in the Brunswick District Court.


Amey Evans &al
Allowed to Sue
In forma pauperis

 


Amey Evans & al Pett
vs David Allen... Deft in CHB VA


And the said dft by protestation not confessing or denying the assault, battery and trespass in and by the said declaration charged and alledged, saith that the said plaintiff ought not to have or maintain his action thereof against him, because he saith that the said plaintiff is the proper slave of him the said dft, and that he the said dft holds and detains the said plf as his own proper slave, and this he is ready to verify. Wherefore the said dft prays judgment whether the said plf ought to have or maintain his said action against him &c.
J D Feild Atty for Deft


Amey Evans vs
David Allen
filed


The Deposition of Ann Meriwether taken this day at the Eagle Tavern in the City of Richmond in a Suit now defending in Brunswick District Court between Aimey Evans & others pltfs and David Allen Deft due notice having been given.
This deponent aged as she supposes about seventy odd years being first sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God deposeth and Saith that about forty years ago as well as she recollects Richard Merewether Brother to this deponents Husband applead to this deponent to get her to take Amey Evans a girl in his possession about Thirteen years of age to learn her to sew. This deponent says she did take the said girl with her where she staid sometime and was again returned to Richard Merewether who sent her to his quarter in Albemarle that at the Decease of Richard Merewether the said Amey Evans was left to Thomas Merewether that some time after the said Thomas Meriwether [crossed out: by being about to removed to Georga to] removed to Hallifax that one of David Allens negro men had the said Amey for a wife in consequence of which an exchange took place between Thomas Meriwether & him so that the said Allen became possessed of the said girl Amey.
This deponent farther saith that the said Amey Evans was a daughter of Sarah Colley who was a sister to Hannah Evans the mother of Thomas Gibson alias Mingo Jackson who recovered his freedom of David Ross.
The said Hannah Evans was sold to David Ross by Thomas Meriwither at the time he lived in Hallifax. Sarah Colly was called by that name from her being the daughter of a white man named James Colley which he had by Francis Evans and this deponent has often heard her husband say in his lifetime that Francis Evans was of Indian decent and from the complexion & strait black hair of Sarah Colley this deponent believes they were decended from indians.
This deponent farther saith that she was informed by her Husband that his father Colo. William Merewether took the said Francis Evans for a debt which was oweing him from a man by the name of Lightfoot & further this deponent saith not.
Ann Meriwether

City of Richmond to wit
Sworn to before us this 22nd day of June 1798
Wm Richardson
Wm Duval



Evans vs. Allen } Depon
May 1799
Abated Deft Dead



Mr. David Allen,
Please to take notice that I shall proceed on the 22nd day of June next at the Eagle Tavern in the City of Richmond between the hours of ten o'clock in the Morning and sunset of the said day to take the depositions of sundry witnesses for me & others in a suit brought on my behalf & others against you in the District Court of Brunswick.
May 28th 1798
Aimey Evans

Halifax County to wit,
This 28th day of May 1798, Isaac Medley of lawful age made Oath before me a Justice of the Peace for the said County that he this day gave David Allen a notice of which the above is a Copy and informed him of the purport thereof. Given under my hand the Day & Year aforesaid in the County aforesaid.
Wm. W. Crawford



Evans
to } Notice
Allen
To be sent to
George K. Taylor, Esq'r
near Petersburg
by post


Brunswick District J.C.
The Commonwealth of Virginia to John Barret, Wm Duval & Wm Richardson
Gentlemen Greeting. Know ye that we trusting to your fidelity and providential circumspection in diligently examing all such Witnesses that may appear before you as well on behalf of Amey Evans and others pltfs as David Allen deft.
Command you or any two or more of you that at such certain time and place as you shall appoint you assemble yourselves and the witness aforesaid before you, you call and cause to come and diligently examine on the Holy evangelist of Almighty God and examination into our District Court of Brunsk distinctly and plainly without delay you send and certify inclosed under your hands and seals. sending also to us this writ witness Harrison Randolph Clerk of our said Court this ____ day of ___ 1797 In the 22nd year of our foundation.
H Randolph



The Execution of the within Commission will appear by the annexed Deposition
Wm Richardson
Wm Duval


Amey & al.
vs Allen } Com'r



The Commonwealth of Virginia To the Sherif of Mecklenburg County Greeting
You are hereby commanded to take David Allen if he be found within your Bailiwick and him safely keep so that you have his body before the Judges of our District Court held at Brunswick Courthouse on the first day of the next Court to answer Amey Evans, Charles Evans, Susannah Evans, Sinar Evans, Solomon Evans, Frankey Evans, Salley Evans, Milley Evans, Adam Evans and Hannah Evans of a plea of Trespass Assault Battery and false imprisonment damage one thousand Dollars And have then there this Writ Witness Harrison
Randolph Clerk of our said Court the 23rd of February 1796 In the 20th year of our Foundation.
H Randolph



Evans & al
vs } Capias
David Allen

Rtble to Apl
1796

Executed the 14th
March 1796

R H Walker
Dep of
Wm Davis Shff

For the Defts detaining the Plaintiffs in Slavery
Taylor Esqr.



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View Documents below

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Notes:

These records seem to indicate that the first Jane Gibson was born ca 1640 and that her daughter, Jane Jr., was born ca 1660. Jane Gibson Jr. was married to Morris Evans, and judging by the ages indicated in these records, it is apparent that this would have been the Morris Evans whose age I estimate as born ca 1665, and who left a will & estate in 1739 York County, Virginia. From these petitions and the estate records for Morris Evans, it appears that he and Jane may have been separated by the time of his death, since there is no mention of Jane, but his 2 sons, Charles & Morris were listed among the heirs, along with Rebecca Hulet, listed as "friend",  and her daughter, Elizabeth. Jane Gibson-Evans was called a "widow" in these petitions, but it would not have been unusual for her to have actually been separated or divorced and for it not to have been public knowledge at the time.

The next page contains an additional more definitive chart of the Evans-Gibson family as submitted in the various Court actions. A timeline of dates for each individual is also on the following pages.

 

 

 

2016 This website and all material on it are the property of Deloris Williams. You may use these records for personal research only, no materials on this website is to be reproduced or republished to a commercial website  or used for commercial purposes. Last updated 01/02/2016