Richard Thompson Heirs & Administrators vs. John Thompson

Chancery Order Book A-1, Pages 1-31

Virginia, to wit:

Pleas at the courthouse of Russell County before the Justices of the court of said county in Chancery on Wednesday, the 6th day of June, 1821.

Be it remembered, that heretofore, to wit; at a court held for the said county on the 2d day of October 1816, on the motion of John Hibbard and Nancy his wife late Nancy Thompson, Isabella and Abner Thompson, children (except the said John) and heirs of Richard Thompson deceased, and Henry Dickenson who together with the said Isabella is administrator with the will annexed of the said Richard dec'd by Benjamin Estill their counsel who filed their bill against John Thompson, and which was sworn to in court by the said Henry Dickenson, and for reasons appearing from said bill, it is ordered that the clerk do issue a writ of ne exeat repielle to be directed to the Sheriff of Russell County, commanding that he without delay cause the said defendant to come before him and give sufficient security in the sum of two thousand dollars that he will not go or attempt to go out of the limits of this Commonwealth without the leave of this court, or performing such decree as may be made herein; the plaintiff having entered into bond with sufficient security in the like penalty, conditioned as the law directs, which said bill is as follows:

Bill: To the worshipful the court of Russell County in chancery sitting. The bill of complaint of John Hibbard and Nancy his wife late Nancy Thompson, Isabella & Abner Thompson children (except the said John) and heirs of Richard Thompson dec'd and Henry Dickenson who together with the said Isabella is administrator and administratrix with the will annexed of the said Richard dec'd, and all of the couty of Russell, humbly represents that the said Richard in his life time to wit; in the year (Blank) purchased of a certain John Thompson his brother for the sum of $ (Blank) a tract of land in New Garden in said county containing 208 acres and fully paid him therefor. That the said John gave his said brother peacable possession thereof, which he retained until his death happening many years thereafter. That the said Richard having entire confidence in the said John, took no conveyance for the said land nor any writing or other assurance therefor. That the said Richard died in the year (Blank, should be 1816) after having made his last will and testament, a copy of which is herewith exhibited as part of this their bill, whereby he devised his whole estate to his daughter Isabella, one of the compls. That there being no executor appointed by the said will, the County Court of Russell granted the administration thereof with the will annexed to the compls Isabella and Henry. The said Isabella has since by a writing under her hand and seal, a copy of which is also exhibited as part of this their bill, agreed to divide the said estate equally with her brother and sister. That the said John Thompson and the other relatives of the said Richard dec'd have filed their bill in the high court of Chancery at Wythe, to set aside the said last will and testament of the said Rich'd, pretending that a paper purporting to be a will made previous thereto, ought to be established as the last will and testament of the said Rich'd. That the said suit is still pending and undetermined. That the said John Thompson refuses to convey to the said children and heirs of the said Rich'd the said land, and threatens to turn them out of possession, pretending that he did not sell the said land; that he has not been paid for it, and that he and the other brothers and sisters of the said Richard dec'd are his heirs and devisees. Your orators and oratrixes would further state, that during the life of the said Rich'd great intimacy and confidence subsisted between him and his said brother John, and frequent dealings, loans and contracts took place about which no writings or other evidence was thought necessary. That it is believed by your orators and oratrixes that at the last payment made by the said Richard the said John Thompson for the land aforesaid a considerable sum of money was loaned by the said Richard to the said John which has not been accounted for, and with respect to which there is no written evidence within their knowledge. That at a subsequent time it is believed the said John borrowed from his said brother Rich'd dec'd a further considerable sum of money, probably one or two hundred dollars which has likewise been unpaid, and for which there exists no written acknowledgement or other proof known to your orators and oratrixes. That besides the confidence which the said Richard reposed in his said brother John, he was not in the habit of keeping books or accounts with any person, being but a very indifferent scholar who usually employed others to write for him. That the said Richard died possessed of a considerable property both real and personal, and whilst he lived was in easy circumstances free from want, and never was in the habit or under the necessity to borrow money, though he frequently loaned considerable sums to his neighbors, and particularly to his said brother. That your orators and oratrixes have cause to believe that the said John Thompson is indebted to the estate of the said Rich'd because shortly before the death of the said Richard the said John came to his house and in presence of his family offered to sell a note which he held on John Hibbard one of the compls and the son-in-law to said Rich'd, stating that he was in need of the money, and perhaps the note was not due, or from some cause he could not get the money for it. The said Rich'd agreed to advance the money for it amounting to several hundrd dollars, but on its being suggested that there was some dispute about it he declined purchasing or advancing the money; upon which the said John asked him to loan him some money, to which the said Rich'd assented, and they two went by themselves to that part of the house where the said Rich'd kept his money, and after some time , when several of the family went and examined the money of the said Rich'd and found one hundred dollars missing, from thence they concluded the said Rich'd had loaned it to his said brother John. Your orators and oratrixes would further state that such was the intimacy and confidence which subsisted between the said John & Rich'd, that they usually transacted their business in secret, without even the knowledge of the said Rich'ds family, which upon such occasions it seemed to be his object to avoid, and the family having then also entire confidence in the honesty and integrity of the said John gave themselves little concern about it. Hence the said John had it completely in his power to practice those frauds which he is now attempting. They would further state that the said Rich'd was in his life time very subject to intoxication, which may in some measure account for the strange confidence he thought it necessary to repose in his said brother and his said brother attempts to defraud the compls. They further state that the said John denies that he owes the estate of his said brother any thing, refuses payment to the admr, and pretends that he has claims to a considerable amount against the estate of the said brother. The prayer therefore of your orators and oratrixes is, that the said John Thompson may be made deft hereto and fully and truly answer the same on oath, and more particularly that he may answer and say, did he not at several times borrow money from his said brother? how much and when? at the time above mentioned did he not borrow from the said Rich'd $100, if not, how much? Did not his said brother fully pay him for the said plantation? and generally what sums of money and other property did he at various times borrow or receive from the said Rich'd. That this worshipful court will compel the said John Thompson to convey the said land with proper covenants of warranty against the claims of all persons. That the said John Thompson is a resident of the state of Tennessee now in this Commonwealth and about shortly to remove to his said residence, the writ of ne exeat be awarded them as auxiliary to the process of this worshipful court. That the Com'ths writ of S&a. be awarded them, directed &c

Campbell, McHenry & Estill

In the name of God, Amen. I Richard Thompson of the County of Russell in the state of Virginia now enjoying a reasonable state of health at present thanks be to God for his mercys and also in perfect mind and memory - calling to mind the mortality of my body and nowing it is appointed for all men once to die, I do therefore constitute and make this my last will and testament first I recommend my soul unto Almighty God who gave it my boddy to be burred in a desent burial & and as it hath pleased God to bless me with a portion of the things of this life, I give dispose and bequeath the same in the following manner and form (to wit) I desire that all just debts may be satisfyd first out of my estate, and secondly I gave and bequeath unto my well beloved daughter Esable Thompson all and singular my goods and chattels my lands and slaves to be by her freely possest and enjoy'd and dispos'd of as she may think propper. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of May eighteen hundred and sixteen.

Rich'd Thompson
with X his mark (Seal)

Teste
John Thompson
William Barnett

At a court held for Russell County the 4th day of June 1816. This instrument of writing was exhibited in court as and for the last will and testament of Richard Thompson dec'd and proven by the oath of William Barnett one of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded as to the personal estate: And no executors being named in the said will, on the motion of Isabel Thompson and Henry Dickenson Sen'r. who made oath, and together with Aaron Hendrick & Berry Robinson their securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of five thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Isabel & Henry for obtaining letters of administration on the said decedents estate with his will annexed in due form.

And at a court held for the sd. county July 20 1816 - it was further proved by the oath of John Thompson the other subscibing witness thereto, and by the testimony of other witnesses and ordered to be recorded as to the real estate therein mentioned.

Teste
James P. Carrell D.C.

(The other exhibit in the bill is not to be found amongst the papers filed)


Answer: At rules held in the clerks office of said court on the 7th day of March (till which time this cause stands continued on the rule docket) came the defendant John Thompson by Henry & John Dixon his counsel & filed his answer to the complainants' bill in the following words & figures, to wit:

To the worshipful Court of Russell County in Chancery sitting - The answer of John Thompson to the bill of complaint exhibited against him by John Hibbard Nancy his wife Isabel & Abner Thompson in this worshipful court. This respondent now at all times hereafter saving to himself all benefit of exceptions to the said bill of complaint in all its parts, for answer thereto or to so much thereof as he is advised is material or necessary, answers and says, that it is not true that he the respondant sold the tract of land mentioned in the compls said bill of compls to his brother Richard Thompson and which was fully paid for by him: when this resp't was about to remove from the county of Russell into Tennessee, a verbal agreement was made between him and the said Richard to the effect:- That the said Richard should have possession of the said land for and during his life, the said Richard stating he wanted it only his life time, for he intended at his death to leave every thing he possessed at the disposal of this respondent - in that verbal agreement it was not intended that the said Richard should have the said land in fee simple - or that his children should enjoy it except with the consent of this respondent - nor was it ever intended that this resp't should convey the said land to the said Richard or to give him any writing whatever for it - but merely gave him possession of it - at the same time your respondent sold and delivered to the said Richard on the premesis upwards of one hundred bushels of corn, one or two stacks of rye, between seventy and eighty dozen of oats, a large quantity of rye straw, some articles of household furniture, and all the farming utensils, worth in the whole as this repon't supposes at least $100, and he received in payment he thinks four horses of about fifty dollars value each and about one hundred dollars or perhaps a little upwards in cash, which was all he ever received for the possession of the said land and the above enumerated articles of personal property. The said Richard had and enjoy'd possession of the said land on which there is a valuable farm about five years. This respo't denies that the writing alledged to be the will of his brother Richard Thompson (a copy of which is exhibited with the bill of the complts.) is the last will and testament of his said brother, which by that same confidnece alledged in the said bill is well known and best known to this resp't - he wrote both instruments, and well knows that the writing now set up by the compl's was not nor never intended for the last will of the said Richard, but which as this resp't believes has by corruption been antedated since the death of the said Rich'd.

As to any writing made between the said Isabell & her brother and sister has nothing to do and knows nothing of - This repondent admits that he and the other relatives of the said Rich'd have commenced suit in the Superior Court of Chancery to set aside the said instrument of writing alledged to be Richard Thompsons will and testament admitted to record by the County Court of Russell - It is admitted and now here again repeated that the respondent and the other relatives are the true heirs and legal representatives of the said Richard and that the said Isabell, Abner and Nancy are not, being the ilegitimate and bastard children of the said Richard.

Your respondent comes now to that part of the compl's said bill of compls which charges that "it is believed that at the time the said Rich'd made the last payment for the said land he the said Rich'd loaned to the said John Thompson(this respondent) a considerable sum of money which has not been accounted for" and that " at a subsequent time this resp't borrowed the further sum of one or two hundrd dollars" - The whole of those charges this respondent denies - for the said Richard made no payment first nor last, more than as herein already set forth. It is true, that the said Hibbard being indebted to this resp't and being the son-in-law of the said Richard he applied to the said Rich'd and proposed to deposit the said note for the amount due on it which he could afterwards collect from the said Hibbard but after the said Rich'd had agreed to advance the sum required his son Abner persuaded him not to do so. This respondent then being a long distance from home asked his brother to loan him a small sum, which at first he agreed to do, but upon going into the room where he kept his money he observed "upon recollection I cannot do it" stating that, he was indebted to one Keesee in a considerable sum that he expected him to call for it every day, and he must keep all he had to pay him. - This respondent being solemnly called upon by the compl's to state how much how often and at what times he borrowed money of his said brother Richard Thompson, has no hesitation in answering, that many years ago he borrowed money from him once or perhaps twice to the of about $100 in all - and which sums he punctually paid at the expiration of the time for which they were loaned; and with as little hesitation he declares he never has borrowed one cent from the said Richard since he obtained the possession of the said land now the subject of controversy betwixt the compl's and this resp't but on the contrary the said Richard at his death was indebted to this resp't $100 which he had loaned to the said Rich'd some time before, and also the sum of $25 for a horse, for which debts he holds the said Richard's notes, which he herewith exhibits - he therefore denies that he ownes the estate of his said brother any thing: - the estate is indebted to this resp't.

This respondent denies that the circumstances of the said Richard were such as never to lay him under the necessity of borrowing money: the said Richard was involved in great expences in digging and boreing for salt water which frequently compelled him to borrow money from his neighbours - he borrowed from this respondent and as he is informed oftentimes from his neighbours - besides he owed Keesee & other debts which were to be paid in money. At his death he had some money which he had received for horses sold to one Barnet and his son Abner, and for a negro sold to one Gose. - This respondent denies all fraud or combination with any person, and having now answered all the alligations material in the said bill denies all other parts thereof not here particularly admitted - prays to be dismissed with his legal costs in this behalf wrongfully expended.

Dixon

Washington County to wit:

This day John Thompson personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace for said county, and made oath, that the foregoing answer is true so far as it respects his own actings and doings, and so far as it respects the actings and doings of others he believes to be true. Given under my hand this 3'd day of March 1817.

Geo. W. Dixon

Borrowed and rec'd of John Thompson one hundrd dollars which I promise to pay with lawful interest from this present date. Witness my hand and seal this 4th day of Feb. 1808

Richard Thompson (Seal)

Twelve months after date and for value rec'd I promise and oblige myself to pay to John Thompson or his assigns the sum of twenty five dollars currant money of Virginia - witness my hand and seal this first day of October 1812.

Richard Thompson (Seal)


To which answer the complainants by their counsel replied generally, and issue being joined it was ordered that commissions be awarded the parties to examine and take the depositions of their witnesses, each party giving to the other reasonable notice of the time and place of executing the same. And time is given for that purpose for the space of six months agreeably to the statute in such case made & provided in pursuance of which commission, the following depositions were taken and returned and ordered to be published.

(On the part of the complainants.)

Compl's depositions:

Pursuant to a commission to us directed from the worshipful the County Court of Russell in the suit in Chancery therein pending between the administrators with the will annexed, the children and heirs of Richard Thompson dec'd plt's and John Thompson deft. we have proceeded to take the depostion of Andrew Caldwell a witness in the said cause at the house of Henry Dickenson in the town of Dickensonville, on the 7th day of May 1817 pursuant to notice, and in the presence of the counsel of the parties, who being duly sworn deposeth and saith, Some time just before John Thompson Sen'r. moved away from this county to Tennessee I was at his house in the New Garden, the said John Thompson sen'r. told me that he had sold his plantation that he then lived on to his brother Richard Thompson for the sum of four of five hundred pounds as well as I recollect, and the said John Thompson sen'r. further stated that he took a plantation of the said Richard Thompson for two hundred pounds in part pay for the said plantation he had sold to his brother Richard Thompson, a plantation that the said Richard Thompson owned lying below the said Richard Thompson where he then lived on Clinch River, and the said John Thompson further stated to me that he wished that I would buy the said land from him for he wanted to sell the said land as well as I recollect at this time. He further stated that Richard Thompson had nearly paid him for the said plantation, or pretty well paid him for it, I am not certain which, and that he received of the said brother Richard a waggon and team in part payment of said plantation, at what price I do not recollect.

Andrew Caldwell

Also by the same authority at the same time and place with the foregoing deposition of Andrew Caldwell, and in the presence of the same parties, on similar notice, William Nash of lawful age deposeth and saith, some few days after I understood that John Thompson and Richard Thompson had traded about said Johns land whereon he then lived, that John Thompson came to my shop, this deponent asked John Thompson if he and his brother Richard had made out their trade about his land, and said John said they had and had got a piece of land lying on the Clinch River called the Breeding place in part pay, and about that time said John got four horse beasts of said Richard Thompson, and John Thompson got a waggon of his brother Richard in a swap as this deponent understood, but the waggon said John got from his brother Richard was much the best waggon, but did not know how much boot said John gave in price of the land, and after the said John Thompson received the four horses, this deponent saith that john Thompson received two more horses of his brother Richard, but did not know that the said two last horses went in part price of said land, but thought it did.

William Nash

Also by the same authority and at the same place, John Hackney, who being of lawful age deposeth and saith, that some time after Richard Thompson had moved to John Thompsons place which he understood said John had sold to his brother Richard that John Thompson came to this deponents house to get him and go and attend on him being afflicted with a sore leg, and on their way this deponent asked John Thompson if he sold his plantation to his brother Richard, and said John said he had, and had got the river place called Breedings place and was to get two hundred and fifty pounds more, and said John swapped waggons with his brother Richard, and was to give thirty dollars (as he understood) to boot and received four horses and he understood that John Thompson received two more horses of his brother Richard afterwards, and Richard Thompson told this deponent the last two horses paid his brother John up for the land.

John Hackney Sen'r.

Also by the same authority and at the same place, Daniel Raimey, being of full age deposeth & saith that he lived near Richard Thompson about the time that he heard that Richard had bought John Thompsons land, and after Richard Thompson moved to the place he understood he bought of his brother John, and some time before said Richard Thompson moved he moved to Richard Thompson and worked with his hands, I was frequently at Richard Thompsons after he moved to the place he had got of his brother John, and I did not ever see any grain in the possession of Richard Thompson that was left on the place by John Thompson, he remembers there was some straw in and about the barn.

Daniel Raimey

Also by the same authority and at the same place, Joseph McReynolds of lawful age, who on oath deposith and saith, that he heard John Thompson say that he sold the place that he lived on (being his place in New Garden to his brother Richard Thompson, and that he received that place formerly belonging to old Mr. Breeding called Breeding's place on Clinch River in part pay and received some horses, how many this deponent does not recollect, and that his brother Richard had paid him all up but two hundred dollars, and this deponent further saith not.

Joseph McReynolds

We James Dickenson Senr. and John Hamon justices of the peace for Russell County do certify that the foregoing depositions - were sworn to and subscribed before us at Dickensonville on this 7th day of May 1817 in the presence of the counsel of both the parties to the within named suit. Given under our handsand seals, the day and year above written.

James Dickenson (Seal)
John Hamon (Seal)

September the 26th, 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed, we James Dickenson and William Nash have proceeded to take the deposition of William Brown at the dwelling house of William Nash he being first sworn and of lawful age deposeth and saith - That he happened at Richard Thompsons on some business of his own, and he understood that John Thompson had been there a little before to see Richard Thompson about money that the said Richard owed him, but he was groggy and asleep, and left word that he the said John Thompson was going to start to Tennessee the next day and wanted his money to take with him, and was afraid he would be disappointed, and when Richard Thompson heard it he took the money & went to John Thompsons with his son Abner and the said Wm Brown and he said Abner Thompson told the said John that he came to settle with him and the said John said he was glad of it, and they went out in the porch and took the scales and weighed the gold, and the said Brown asked if they were done settling, and Abner Thompson said they were done settling, and the said Brown asked if that was the last payment, and the said Abner Thompson & John Thompson said it was the last payment for the land.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Did not you buy corn of John Thompson?
Ans. I bought twenty bushels.
Question, by the plaintiff -
How much was left in the crib when you got your corn out of it?
Answer. Not more than four or five bushels.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you recollect of seeing any grain stacks by the barn as you passed?
Answer. I do not, after he moved away.
Question, by the defendant -
How much corn do you think there was in the crib when you first applied for corn?
Answer. I think between ninety and one hundred bushels.
And further this deponent saith not.

William Brown
with X his mark

We do hereby certify this deposition was taken in Russell County & State of Virginia and place and date above written and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26 day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 26th, 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed, we James Dickenson and William Nash, have proceeded to take the deposition of John Whitlock at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being first sworn and of lawful age, deposeth and saith, that he heard John Thompson say that he had sold Richard Thompson the land he lived on and he wanted to give possession to Richard as quick as he could, and his wife said that she was right glad John had sold his land for she wanted to get away from amongst the Thompsons for their family and them never could agree. I heard Richard Thompson say that he had bought the said land of John Thompson, and that he gave him five hundred pounds and he had paid him five horses as well as I recollect.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you understand whether it was for life or his heirs after him?
Ans. I thought for himself and his heirs after him.
And further this deponent saith not.

    his
John X Whitlock
    mark

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 26th 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed, we James Dickenson and William Nash have proceeded to take the deposition of William Ferrell at the dwelling house of William Nash. He being sworn and of lawful age deposeth and saith That I heard Richard Thompson say that there had come a back tax on the land he got of John Thompson, and when he came up he would get the right, for he never knew how to pay taxes without he had the right.

Question - by the plaintiff -
Did you understand by Richard Thompson any payments he paid the said John for said land?
Ans. I did not.
and further this deponent saith not.

       his
William X Ferrell
       mark

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 26, day 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson and William Nash we proceeded to take the deposition of John Thompson junr. at the dwelling house of William Nash he being first sworn and of lawful age deposeth and saith That Richard Thompson dec'd told him that he let John Thompson senr. have five head of horses in part of pay of said tract of land that the said John Thompson then lived on, and this I know of my own knowledge that he got the five horses.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you know whether John Thompson senr. received the River plantation in part pay of the plantation that John Thompson sold to Richard Thompson, or not?
Ans. I heard Richard Thompson say that he let John Thompson have the plantation in that way.
Question, by the plaintiff -
What did the plantation generally trade for that John Thompson got?
Ans. John Thompson sold it to Hibbard for six hundred dollars.
Question, by the plaintiff -
What do you think was the value of these horses John Thompson got in the way of the land?
Ans. About four hundred and twenty dollars.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Did John Thompson ever tell you that he sold the plantation to Richard Thompson?
Ans. Not to my recollection.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you know of your own knowledge what way the said defendant got the before mentioned horses?
Ans. I do not.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you know, of your own knowledge what way the said defendant got the within mentioned land?
Answer - I do not.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you know any thing of your own knowledge in what way the within dec'd Rich'd Thompson was put in possession of the within mentioned land?
Answer - I do not.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you not think that John Thompson sold the above mentioned plantation to Richard Thompson, and received the river plantation and these five head of horses in pay for the plantation he sold to Richard Thompson, or not?
Answer. I do think so.
And further this deponent saith not.

John Thompson

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County & State of Virginia and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 26th day 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson and William Nash we proceeded to take the deposition of Abraham Musick at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being sworn and of lawful age deposeth & saith That he met John Thompson and asked him if he had sold his land, he said I have sold it to Richard, I asked him how much he got for it, to the best of my recollection he said thirteen hundred dollars, and this is the conversation took place between me and John Thompson senior to the best of my recollection.

Question, by the defendant -
Did I, said John, describe any land that I had sold?
Answer - No
Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you mean the land that John Thompson lived on?
Ans. I did.
and further this deponent saith not.

Abraham Musick

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia, and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 26th day 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson and William Nash we proceeded to take the deposition of Jacob Weddington at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being sworn and of lawful age deposeth & saith, that he heard John Thompson senr. say that he would not move back from where he lived if Richard Thompson or they would give him the place back again.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you understand by John Thompson that he sold the plantation to Richard Thompson or not?
Ans. I did not.
Question - Was it not generally talked of throught the country that he sold the plantation to Richard Thompson?
Ans. Yes, it was generally reported through the country that he sold the place.
Question, by the defendant -
Was you ever informed in what way the sale of land was made?
Answer. I was not.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you not think, and is it not generally talked through the settlement that he purchased the land for the benefit of his children?
Ans. I do think so, and it is the general talk.
And further this deponent saith not.

     his
Jacob X Weddington
     mark

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia, and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 27th 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson and William Nash we proceeded to take the deposition of Spencer Breeding at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being of lawful age and first sworn deposeth & saith - I heard Richard Thompson say he had a notion of buying or swapping his river plantation for the plantation that John Thompson lived on at that time, and some time afterwards I saw Richard Thompson again, and he said they had traded, and the said John was to take his river plantation in part of payment and also some boot in swap of waggons and he had let the said John have three horses, and he was to let him have one horse more to make up a team for the waggon, which he got from Elisha Breeding.

Question by the plaintiff -
How much was the horses worth in the way of the land?
Answer. Four hundred and thirty dollars.
Question by the plaintiff -
Did you ever know Richard Thompson to say that he had made a trade where he had not?
Ans. I did not, nor ever knew it.
And further this deponent saith not.

       his
Spencer X Breeding
       mark

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia, and place above written, and both parties present. Given under our hands this 27th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 27th 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson and William Nash we proceed to take the deposition of John Hackney junr. at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being of lawful age and first sworn deposeth & saith, that I heard Richard Thompson say that he let John Thompson have five head of horses and I knew the horses.

Question, by the plaintiff -
What do you think these five head of horses was worth at the time they traded in the way of land?
Ans. I think about four hundred and fifty dollars.
Quest. by the plaintiff -
Did you hear Richard say he let John Thompson have thes horses in the way of a plantation he bought of John Thompson?
Ans. I did, but I know nothing only what Richard Thompson told me.
And further this deponent saith not.

John Hackney

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia, and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 27th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

Pursuant to a commission from the Court of Russell County to us directed to take the deposition of Jesse Horton to be read as evidence in a suit in Chancery in said court between John Hibbard and Nancy his wife late Nancy Thompson, Isabell & Abner Thompson, children (except said John) and heirs of Richard Thompson deceased and Henry Dickenson who together with said Isabel is administrator with the will annexed of the said Richard deceased plaintiffs against John Thompson defendant, we have called the said Jesse Horton before us, who being of lawful age and solemnly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God the truth to speak deposeth and saith that he heard the defendant John Thompson at different times say that he had received from the above named Richard Thompson deceased a tract of land lying on Clinch River at the price of two hundred pounds as he believes, in part pay for the other tract of land lying in New Garden on which the above Isabel & her mother now live.

Question - by the defendant -
Do you know any thing of this contract from your own knowledge?
Ans. Nothing, only from your own information and from the information of Richard Thompson decd in your presence, who both concurred in the sale and price of the land.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you recollect the time you heard the conversation between Richard Thompson & myself?
Ans. I believe some time in the winter of the year 1814.
Question - by the defendant -
Have you any knowledge of any thing which respected the sale or purchase of said lands after the winter of 1814?
Answer, I have none.
And further this deponent saith not.

Taken at Russell Courthouse & sworn to before us. Given under our hands and seals, this 4th day of November in the year 1817.

James Dickenson (Seal)
William Nash (Seal)

(On the part of the defendant.)

September the 26th day 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson & William Nash, we have proceeded to take the deposition of John Johnson at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being of lawful age, deposeth & saith, John Johnson - This deponent, aged thirty-four, being first sworn deposeth and saith that he lived near to Richard and John Thompson till said John moved into the state of Tennessee in the spring of 1812 and near said Richard till his decease in 1816 - and that the said two brothers was much in the habit of transacting business together and trading with each other and that frequently done in secrecy between themselves to the best of my knowledge in the instance of an exchange of land in this County of Russell a small piece of land lying between said John Thompson's tract and his brother William called fifty acres less or more owned by said Richard and exchanged with said John for a tract of land of 208 acres adjoining said John on the west with a valuable improvement, I am not able to say what difference the said Richard was to give between the said tracts but know the value of the sd 208 acres to be worth very considerably more than the other small piece. I still continued to be intimate and friendly with the parties, and never was informed that the said Richard satisfied the difference between the said tracts, but is deeply impressed with the idea that he did not pay up, for two different reasons, first that the said John was in good circumstances and very indulgent to his brother Richd and secondly that some time after said Richard got into possession of sd 208 acres of land he commenced digging for salt water on said John's land which I was informed that he was to do at his own expense the labour and expense spent at the business was very considerable, I was employed and worked at the business myself, and know that said John furnished three hands and milch cattle, for which he never received any restitution for that I had knowledge of nor no grounds of reason to believe he did, and as to the last contract that took place between the said two brothers said John putting said Richard in possession of his mansion place of residence in this country was transacted in secrecy between themselves for any thing thats known to myself who was their most familiar intimate.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you understand by either of the parties that said Richard did buy the said tract of land, that the said John then lived on?
Ans. I did hear Richard say so.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you not hear Richard say that he let the said John have a tract of land that the said John sold to Hibbard in part pay of said land?
Ans. I did.
Question, Did you hear Richard say he had paid for said land?
Ans. I did not.
Question, by the defendant -
When said Richard informed you that he had purchased, did he describe any land, or inform you that his purchases was for a life estate, or otherwise?
Ans. He did not.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you ever hear John Thompson say that he received the plantation where Hibbard lived on in part pay for the plantation he sold to Richard Thompson?
Answer - Not to my recollection.
Question - by the plaintiff -
Do you know to your own knowledge whether John Thompson was to furnish these hands and milk cattle when they were at work digging for salt, upon his own expense, or not?
Answer, I do not.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you know whether Richard Thompson let John Thompson have any horses in pay for the plantation that John Thompson sold to Richard or not?
Answer, Richard Thompson told me that he had let John Thompson have two horses that I knew.
Question, by the plaintiff -
What do you think was the value of those horses in the way of land?
Answer, One hundred and fifty dollars.
And further this deponent saith not.

John Johnson

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County & State of Virginia, and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 26th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

September the 27th 1817
Agreeable to a commission to us directed James Dickenson & William Nash, we proceeded to take the deposition of William Thompson at the dwelling house of William Nash, he being of lawful age and first sworn deposeth & saith -
William Thompson Senr. in the sixty fourth year of his age, being first legally sworn deposeth and saith that he lived near to Richard and John Thompson his brothers till said John moved to the state of Tennessee and near said Richard till his decease in the year 1816, and that the said two brothers was much in the habit of transacting business together and trading with each other and that only known to each other for any thing that I know: in one instance I know that an exchange of land took place between said Rich'd & John, and the tract said Rich'd got was considerable in value to the one he gave, but how the parties traded was and is unknown to me, and I do not know that said Richard ever paid the difference between the said tracts of land. And in another instance I know that said Richard dug for salt water on said Johns land, and I was informed that he was to do it at his own expense amd to have a part of the profit if he succeeded, if not to lose his labour. I further know that said John furnished three hands and some grain and paid good attention to the business himself, which I was informed he was not bound to do, for which labour and services he never received any restitution as I know of, and as it respects said Richard being put in possession of said Johns mansion place of residence I have no knowledge in what way it was done, whether by life estate or otherwise. I hold an obligation myself executed by said John for fifty acres less or more of said tract of land.

Question, by the plaintiff -
Did not you hear either of the parties say any thing about the sale of the land?
Answer - I did not hear John Thompson say he had sold the land: but Richard Thompson told me he had bought it to the conditioned line made between the said John and myself.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Did you hear either of the parties say any thing about the payments of said land
Ans. I did not hear said John say that he had received any property in consequence of said sale, but I heard Rich'd say that he had given property, and I heard him say that he let John Thompson have the River plantation towards the plantation that he received of John Thompson, and likewise four head of horses in the same way, and three head of the horses I knew of myself and I heard him say that he let the said John have one horse more in the same way. And I heard him say that he was to give some money or had given some money, and which I am not positive, towards the same plantation.
Question, by the plaintiff -
What do you think was the value of the three horses that you knew of yourself?
Ans. I think them worth one hundred and sixty dollars.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you know of your own knowledge whether that John Thompson was not to furnish these hands and other property for the benefit of trying for salt water in their bargain or not?
Answer, I do not to my own knowledge.
Question, by the plaintiff -
I what year did the exchange of land take place?
Answer A long time ago between twenty five years or thirty from this date.
Question by the plaintiff -
Do you recollect of seeing any grain stacks on the plantation when John Thompson moved to Tennessee?
Answer I do not know that I was on the plantation at the time when he moved away.
Question by the plaintiff -
Do you not believe that John Thompson sold the plantation that he moved off from when he went to Tennessee to Richd Thompson and received the river plantation in part pay of the said plantation that he moved from, and likewise receive the fore mentioned horses in the same way?
Ans Yes, I do believe it.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you know any thing of the above of your own knowledge?
Answer I do not.
Question by the plaintiff -
Do you not believe that Richard Thompson bought this plantation from the said John for his own benefit and his heirs after him?
Ans. Yes, I believe for his intended heirs after him.

William Thompson
with X his mark

We do hereby certify that this deposition was taken in Russell County and State of Virginia, and place and date above written, and both parties being present. Given under our hands this 27th day of September 1817.

James Dickenson
William Nash

Pursuant to a commission from the Court of Russell County to us directed to take the deposition of John Colley, to be read as evidence in a suit in Chancery depending, between the heirs of Richard Thompson deceas'd plaintiffs and John Thompson deft, we have called the said John Colley before us, who being of lawful age and solemnly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God deposeth and saith, that he knows of no contract between John Thompson & Richard Thompson decd respecting the sale of the land in dispute.

Question, by the defendant -
Have you any recollection of the contract between Richard Thompson and myself respecting the digging for salt?
Ans. I heard Richard Thompson say that he was to dig for that salt at his own expense, which if he obtained his brother John Thompson was to have one half the profits of the salt, and that he Richard Thompson was to have half the tract of land on which he was digging, but thsi land isnot the tract in dispute.
Question, by the defendant -
Do you recollect of any of my hands being employed in digging at the salt well?
Ans. I recollect of a black man called Sam, and a woman who cooked for the hands named Winny, of whom I do not recollect to hear any complaint as to their performance.
Question, by the plaintiff -
Do you know on what terms those negroes worked at the well?
Ans. I do not.
Question, by the defendant -
Did I not frequently attend at the well myself?
Ans. I frequently saw you there, but not employed in work or overseeing as to my knowledge. And further this deponet saith not.

John Colley

Taken at Russell Courthouse on the 4th day of November eighteen hundred and seventeen, and sworn to before us. Given under our hands and seals, the day & year above written.

James Dickenson (Seal)
William Nash (Seal)

John Burch of Claiborne in the state of Tennessee being of lawful age, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God before us James Dickenson and William Nash Justices of the Peace for the county of Russell, deposeth and saith - I John Burch was at the house of John Thompson Senr. in Russell County Virginia and threshed in said Thompson's barn one day or two before said Thompson started to move to Sullivan County in the spring of 1812 - there was a quantity of rye in one end of the barn and oats in the other, there was also several stacks standing near said barn to the best of my recollection four, I did not examine whether it was grain or straw, perhaps both, there was also a quantity of corn in said Thompson's crib, but how much I am not able to ascertain.

Question, by the plaintiff - Whether you knew or not whether Richard Thompson got the grain in straw, and straw left on the place?
Answer I know not.
Question, by the plaintiff -
What sort of a bulk of rye and oats in the straw do you think was in the barn when you saw them?
Ans. A tolerable bulk of rye in the barn. The oats I do not recollect.
Question do you know that that was rye in the straw of rye straw?
Ans, the best of my knowledge it was rye not thrashed, but I did not examine it.
And further the deponent saith not.

John X Burch

Sworn to before us this 4th day of November 1817 at Russell Court House.

James Dickenson,
William Nash

At a court held for Russell County on the 5th day of November 1817
On motion of the complainants by their counsel it is ordered that this cause be set for hearing at the next term.

At a court held for Russell County on the 6th day of June 1821 (till which time this cause remained undetermined and was continued by virtue of the statute in that case made & provided) this cause came on the 6th day of June in the year of our Lord 1821 to be finally heard on the bill of the complainants, and exhibits, the answer of the defendant and the depositions of witnesses, and was argued by counsel. And it appearing to the satisfaction of the court by an attested copy of the decree of the Superior Court of Chancery at Wythe Court House, from which there has been no appeal prayed or granted, that the will of Richard Thompson dec'd exhibited in this cause is established to be the true last will & testament of the said Richard deceased under which and the agreement of the complainant Isabel also exhibited in this cause, the complainants, Isabel, John Hibbard and Nancy his wife, late Nancy Thompson, and Abner Thompson, are equally interested in the estate of the said Richard dec'd viz: that the said Isabel Nancy and Abner being the only children and heirs of the said Richard, are so interested, and it also appearing to the court, that the said Richard in his lifetime bought of the deft John the lands in the bill mentioned, and fully paid him therefor: Therefore it is ordered adjudged and decreed by the court, that the said defendant John Thompson within six months from the rendition of this decree convey the lands in the bill mentioned to the complainants Isabel, Nancy and Abner with covenants of general warranty against all persons whomsoever, and that he pay to the complainants their costs in this behalf expended. And it is further ordered adjudged and decreed by the court, that as to the other matters in the bill alledged, that the said bill be dismissed without prejudice to the rights of either party, which they may hereafter pursue at law.

From which decree the defendant prayed an appeal to the Superior Court of Chancery held at Wythe Courthouse, which is granted on his entering into bond with good security in the penalty of $2,500 with the clerk of this court or with the clerk of the said Superior Court or Chancery on or before the first day of the next term of the said Superior Court of Chancery.

Plaintiffs' costs $17.85 - Defendants costs $17.31.

Virginia
At a Superior Court of Chancery holden at Wythe Court House for the District of Wythe on Monday, May 24th 1820

Plaintiffs
John Johnston, Betsy Johnston, Thompson Johnston, John Robinson & Anny his wife formerly Anny Johnston, William Robinson & Rebecca his wife formerly Rebeckah Johnston & Leanna Johnston children of William Johnston dec'd

Defendants
Henry Dickenson admr. with the will annexed of Richard Thompson dec'd & Isabella Thompson

This cause came on the 24th day of May 1820 to be heard upon the bill & answers, exhibits filed and the examinations of witnesses and was argued by counsel, on consideration whereof it is adjudged ordered and decreed that the bill of the plts be dismissed as the same is hereby accordingly dismissed, and that he pay to the defendants their costs by them about their defence in this behalf expended. Defts costs $30.04.

A copy, Teste,
J. E. Brown C.C.

Know all men by these presents, that we John Thompson senr. John Thompson jr. Jas. Thompson, James Fletcher & John Johnson are held and firmly bound unto Isabel Thompson John Hibbard & Nancy his wife and Abner Thompson in just and full sum of Two thousand five hundred dollars be paid unto the said Isabella Thompson , John Hibbard & Nancy his wife and Abner Thompson their executors administrators or assigns; for the payment whereof well and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals and dated this 15th day of September 1821.

The condition of the above obligation is such, that whereas a court continued and held for Russell County on the 6th day of June 1821 in a suit in Chancery depending in said court between the heirs and administrators of Richard Thompson deceased plaintiff and the said John Thompson Senr. defendant. It was adjudged ordered and decreed that the said defendant John Thompson within six months from the rendition of said decree convey the lands in the bill mentioned to the complainants Isabel, Nancy & Abner with covenants of general warranty against all person whomsoever, and that he pay to the complainants their costs in that behalf expended; which decree the said John Thompson hath appealed to the Superior Court of Chancery held at Wythe Court House. ___ therefore the said John Thompson shall prosecute the said appeal with effect, or perform the decree aforesaid of the County Court of Russell, and shall pay all such costs & ___ as shall be awarded against him in case the said decree of the county court shall be affirmed, then this obligation ___ void, else to remain in full force and virtue.

Sealed & deliverd in presence of James P. Carrell

John Thompson (Seal)
John Thompson jr. (Seal)
James Thompson (Seal)
James Fletcher (Seal)
John Johnson (Seal)

A copy Teste
James P. Carrell D.C.

Virginia. At a Superior Court of Chancery holden at Wythe Courthouse for the district of Wythe on Wednesday October 23d 1822.

John Thompson appellant
against
John Hibbard and Nancy his wife, late Nancy Thompson, Isabella Thompson and Abner Thompson heirs, and Henry Dickenson & Isabella Thompson admr & admx, with the will annexed of Richard Thompson dec'd

This cause, an appeal from a decree of the County Court of Russell pronounced on the sixth day of July 1821, came on this 23d day of October 1822 to be heard on the transcript of the record of proceedings before the said county court, and was argued by counsel: On consideration whereof the court being of the opinion that substatial justice has been done between the parties by the decree aforesaid, doth affirm the same, and it is herby accordingly affirmed, and doth adjudge, order and decree that the appellant do pay unto the appellees their costs by these expended in defending this appeal. App'ees costs $31.84

A copy Teste
James E. Brown, C.C.


Also see the Wythe Chancery Case papers below. There are 2 files which have been scanned and placed on this site. The files were obtained at the Wythe Co., VA courthouse and involve the appeal of the Thompson family dispute to the Superior Court of Chancery. They are loose papers contained in two files there. The documents have not been sorted to put them into cronological order. They are included here as they were received in Wythe Co. In addition to the two complete files, a single page, which lists all the brothers and sisters of Richard Thompson has been extracted from the 2nd file and loaded up seperately here for ease of use. It is still also located within the 2nd file. Note that these are large files, each being over 60 megabytes, so may take some time to download depending on your internet speed.

Packet 1
Packet 2
Page That Lists the Brothers and Sisters of Richard Thompson


This file contributed by: Michael A. Dye



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