Tag Archives: James City

C J D Pryor of James City, VA

Christopher J D Pryor signature (signed C J D Pryor) on an 1825 Legislative Protest against the memorial of the Staunton Convention and ask that no law be passed for taking the sense of the people on the propriety of calling a Convention to amend the State Constitution. Hmmm what was meant by “sense”? Was it a way of saying census? Is that another Pryor signature below?

Estate of Samuel W. Pryor of Williamsburg, VA

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I’ve transcribed these documents. Be sure to read down… the letter from Sarah Pryor is interesting too.

To the judge of the circuit Superior Court of Law and Chanery for the County of James City of Williamsburg, Humbly complaining shew unto Your Honor, your orators Jesse Cole and William W. Vest merchants and partners trading under the firm and style of William W. Vest & Co. that a certain Samuel W. Pryor at the time of his death, which happened in the face of 1838, was indebted to your orators by note and open account, that after his death Lucius F Clary qualified as his administrator and your orators instituted suits on their claims in the Husting Court of Williamsburg against the said administrator and obtained Judgment on both copies of these Judgments are herewith filed as part of this thier bill. By reference to said judgment, it will be seen they are to be paid after paying dets of Superior dignity.  Your Orators are not informed as to what estate the said Pryor left and which come to the hand of the said administrator nor do they know anything in regard to the claim which may exist against the estate. Superior in dignity to theirs. but they know that a good deal of property was sold by the said administrator at the sale of the decedents estate as to all which on full and fair discovery is asked of the said administrator. Your orators charge that the said Samuel W. Pryor at the time of  his death was in possession of a certain negro boy salve by name Oliver which he held as his own property as long as he lived and which he had so held for eight or ten years before his death that after the death of the said Pryor and before any qualification on his estate a certain William S Graves came to the late residence of the said Pryor in Williamsburg and took away the said slave to the County of Charles City where he now holds the said slave in his posession which slave as Your Orators are informed of the value of five hundred dollars.  This act on the part of the said Graves makes him liable ot the creditors of the said Pryor for the full value of said slave and his hires and will in law consititute hiim executor in his own wrong of the said estate or if not so the said slave in  his hands howsoever held will be liable to the claims of Your Orators.

In any event Your Orators are advised that they are entitled to be paid. either by the said administrator out of the estate which  he has received or out of the said slave or from the said Graves but so it is all the parties hold off and refuse to make any payment to Your Orators, which is against the planned principes of Equity and good Concience.

In tender consideration whereof and for as much as Your Orators are without relief on the promises have by the aid of a court of Equity where maatters of this kind are properly cognizable to the end therefore Your Orators pray that the said Lucius F. Cary administrator of Samuel W. Pryor deceased and the said William S. Graves may be made parties defendants to this bill with apt and proper word to charge them as such that they answer the same on oath, that thereupon all necessary and proper accounting may be taken and that Your Orators may have address for their claims aforesaid against one or the other of said parties, andn of necessary that the said slave may be sold for that purpose and generally that Your Orators may have such other and further relief on the promises consistent with equity and good coniscious.

May it please the court to grant to our orators the commonweath commanding and Your Orators will ever pray. Signed Thomas O Cobgree

Charles City County August 21, 1840 enclosed you will Receive our accounting for the Board of Mr. Pryor Children you will please put the account in proper form for me —? bring a suit for the same you will also bring suit for the money I paid on the money that I paid on the trust dec’d. You have the receipt for the money I paid to Bailey — with a transfer of the trust deed from Joseph Gresham to me.  If you should wish to see me before you bring the suit please write me as early as possible by mail and I will come and see you.  You will have Mr. Gresham summond in the case of the Trust deed the other witnesses summoned will be sufficient in the suit for Board. I remain very respectfully your friend William S Graves To Geo. Southall, esq

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The Estate of Samuel W. Pryor 1839 To William S Graves D– To Board of Son Samuel W. 12 month at $6 per mo $72.00 To Board of daughter Mary E. do– $6 per mo $72 [total] $144

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John DeNeufville
—-?  $70
Lucius F. Cary admin.
Samuel W. Pryor

Pltfs. Witnesses
Alex. Provo?
Robert J. Barlow

Suit to Nov 2 1840
Hns. Court

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Deneufville vs. Pryor’s Admin.

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The Commonweath of virginia to the Sheriff of James City County Greeting. You are hereby commanded to summon John Coke Sergeant of the City of Williamsburg as such committe and administration of Samuel W Pryor deceased and John H. Barlow to appear at the Clerk’s Office of our Ciruit Superior Court of Law and Chanery for James City County and the City of Williamsburg at Rules to be holden for the said Court, on the first Monday in July next, to answer an original and ammended Bill in Chancery exhibited against them and others in the said Court by Samuel S. Griffin, James See and William H. Jones, suing for themselved and such of the creditors of Samuel W. Pryor decdeased as have joined or shall join in this suit and who will contribute to the expenses thereof. And uless the said defendants shall answer the said Bill within two months there after, the Court will take the same for confessia and decree the matter thereof accordingly. and thus they shall in no wise —? under th pentaly of $100 each. And have writ witness Thomas O Cogbee Clerk of our said court at the courthouse the 5th day of June 1843 and in the 67th year of our foundation. Th O Cogbee, C

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Charles City County
September 20 1842
Wm. Sourthall

Dear Sir,
I send you the Receipt for the money I paid as Mr. Pryor’s security. You will please attend and make the money if possible. I can prove by a witness that Mr. Pryor sent me word that he wished that I would take the Boy Oliver or sell him for he was so bad he was sure that he would never be any service to me. If I kept him If such evidence will be of any service in the Chancery Case you will Please write me word and you will much ablige. Friend and Obedient,
William S. Graves

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[This next document is a letter written by Sarah D. Graves Pryor. It was presented to the court by William Graves (Samuel W. Pryor’s brother in law).]

James City, Dec. 19th 1834

Dear Brother, I  have bin very anxous to see you ever sense I wrote to you by James when he came up after the stears. Dear Brother, Mr Pryor says he ows about 130$ besides what he ows Old Bailey and says if I can get you to settle the whole amounthe will make over to you ever species of property he has which he thinks worth about four hundread dollars and unless he can borrow the amount of some friend he hass be complelled to sell Fanny and Oliver for what they will bring.  Brother William, you know I can not do without some person to help me and if you can get the mony I think i can pay you part back next year.  There was so much rain this year that we made nothing to see the bean fell so short there was not a enough to pay han hire, will you see Mrs Hughs and know if she intends sending James back if not will you try and get u a another. It is my opinion not he did not come down with the intention of staying he made  us believe at first he did come to stay just as he might get som cloths by chrismas to walk about in.  I am certin he will not stay long in any place where he can not wal about half his time. Christopher has worked with him every day sense he has bin down here until this week he has haled a little marl.  Tell all the family they must come and see me. I do not know when I can come up as Mr Pryor has not seen a well day sense Sister harriett went from hear. I want to see you as quick as possible. From your affectionate sister,
Sarah D. Pryor.

Dear Brother try and comply with my request as you are my only friend S D Pryor

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Charles City County, April 6th, 1839 [To] Mr. Geo Southall

Sir, In compliance with your request I write to you Respecting the suit of Cary and myself and send you one of the letters that my sister wrote to me about the property. You will have a supoena sent to Charles City to summon Richard M. Graves and R. W. Christian if you think the suit will come on this term. You will also have R. R. Vaideu of New Kent summoned. Vaideu can prove that I paid a considerable sum of money to Roscoe Cole for Pryor when Cole was about to move to New York. He can also prove that Pryor swapped the Bay Horse that was mentioned in the trust deed for the sorrel mare that I have the Bill of Sale for. I gave Pryor two hundred dollars for the negroes and he told me that the bill of sale would be sust as good for one hundred and fift for them as for two hundred dollars and note it in that way to secure the mare to me in place of the horse. I expect that Mr. Gresham can prove t he same as he was interested in the trust deed but a short time before. Mr. John H. Ware in your city can prove that Mr. Pryor told him that the negroes was not his property. mr. maupin also knows that.  I paid a note of fifty or sixty dollars with them for Pryor and several others that I do not recollect.  I have to Mr. Gresham’s house to see him but could not find him as he was not home.  You will please write me by mail in answer to this letter what you may think will be the best way for me to act as I am unacquainted with law. The woman has run  away from me and I expect that she is in Williamburg.  if you think she is, you will please inform me by letter and I will advertise her if you think it best and get you to bring a suit against Barlow on in any way you may think best. I should like to hear from you in as short a time as possible by mail will be the best way and the quickest way I think.

I am very respectfully your friend,
William S. Graves