Deposition of Claiborne Gentry, 1802, Davidson County, Tennessee

Depositions from the Estate File of William Ridge

State of Tennessee )
Davidson County

In obedience to a commission to us directed from the honorable the Judges of the Superior Court of law and equity held in and for the district of Sailisbury in the State of North Carolina, we have proceeded to take the depositin of CLAIBORNE GENTRY of lawful age, who being first sworn agreeable to law, in the suit in equity now pending in the district aforesaid wherin JONATHAN HAINES as the next friend of the orphans of WILLIAM RIDGE deceased is Plaintiff and WILLIAM T LEWIS, WILLIAM COOKE and others are defendants; deposeth and saith that he this deponant is and has been well acquainted with the said WILLIAM T. LEWIS for twenty odd years and with two of the Negroes mentioned in the aforesaid complainants Bill- to wit, SALL and NAN.

This deponant positively declares that the said WILLIAM T. LEWIS had the said Negro named NAN in his possession in the spring of the year 1780 where he this deponant frequently afterwards saw the said Negro named NAN during the summer, fall, winter, & spring following the said spring of 1780-. This deponant further saith that the reason for his being so frequently with the said W. T. LEWIS and at his house in the year 1780 & 1781 were that he the said LEWIS was an active officer in the army and served in Surry County in the said State of North Carolina in the said years of 1780 & 1781 and that he this deponant served frequently under the said LEWIS and have been in action with him against the tories. That early in the summer of 1780 a parcel or body of tories in the part of the country aforesaid raise and went off and were defeated at the Hanging Rock in South Carolina, and that in October following about the 15th of the same he this deponant under the command of the said W. T. LEWIS was in an action against another party of tories who raised in said County and were defeated at the Shallow Ford on the Yadkin river in the said State of North Carolina, that the said LEWIS served at that time in Surry County aforesaid, but that some time in the fall of 1780 he the said LEWIS removed his white family up to his father's Maj. LEWIS in Wilkes County in the said State of North Carolina, together with a part of his Nigroes, when he this deponant frequently saw the said two Negroes named SALL and NAN in the possession of the said LEWIS during the winter & spring following the said fall of 1780 as he was frequently there during that period.

Further this deponant saith that in the month of March in the year 1781 Lord Cornwallis marched through that part of country in the said State of North Carolina, which makes him this deponant so fully acquainted with the various transactions as the tories raised twice in the said year of 1780 and that in the spring of the year 1781 the said Lord Cornwallis did march through the same country aforesaid. This deponant further saith that in the spring of the year 1780 he did understand and does believe that the said WILLIAM RIDGE did give the said two Negroes named SALL & NAN to the said W. T. LEWIS for his the said LEWIS' __biting and puting a man into the Continental Service in the place of GODFREY RIDGE (son of the said WILLIAM RIDGE) who was a delinquent in the nine months service. This deponant further said that he is acquainted with a certain THOMAS RIDGE, who he understands has been called upon by the aforesaid JONATHAN HAINS to declare & say something about the business relative to the claim for the aforesaid Negros, but that the said THOMAS RIDGE was not in that part of the county at the time the said WILLIAM RIDGE & W. T. LEWIS contracted for the said Negros named SALL & NAN, nor did he the said THOMAS RIDGE come into that part of the country aforesaid 'til after the battle of Kings mountain which was in the fall of the year 1780 and after the aforesaid WILLIAM RIDGE was said to have been killed in an action against the whigs at the Hanging Rock aforesaid. Further this deponant saith not.

Claborn (his mark) Gentry

Sworn to and subscribed before us at the house of JOHN SUMMERVILLE in Nashville in the State of Tennessee this second day of March 1802.

Jno Anderson, J. Peace
J Coleman. J. Peace

References Cited

NC State Library and Archives, CR085.508.136, Estate Records, Rowan Co., NC, Folder: William Ridge (1785)

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