John P. McConnell, 1804 Deposition, Davidson County, Tennessee and 1804 Greene County, Tennessee
updated 9/9/2012

Depositions from the Estate File of William Ridge

State of Tennessee )
Davidson County   )

By virtue of a Commission to us directed from the Honorable the Judges of the Superior Court of Law and Equity for the District of Salisbury State of North Carolina bearing date the 19th of March 1804 by Maxwel Chambers clerk & Master in equity in a certain cause wherein William RIDGES orphans by their next friend Jonathan HAINES is Plaintiff & William T. LEWIS and others are defendants, We Edmund Gamble & Isham Allen Parker Justices appointed to keep the peace for the county aforesaid have caused John P. McCONNELL to come before us this 24th day of August in the year 1804, who being duly sworn deposeth and saith that he this deponent attended at the house of Captain Salathiel MARTIN in Powels Valley in Claiborn County & State of Tennessee on the 23d day of July 1804 with a commission signed Maxwel Chambers Clerk & Master in equity for the express purpose of getting him to attend at the house of James RENFRO Esquire to take his deposition in the above suit, and this deponent says that he produced to said MARTIN a copy of a deposition that he said MARTIN had given about 1801 certified by Maxwell Chambers Esq'r the original he this deponent is induced to believe is in the equity office of Salisbury now and the reason of wanting said MARTINS deposition taken was that the defendant had it not in their power to prove the notice for taking it. Said MARTIN acknowledged to this deponent that he had given his deposition and that he believed that the copy produced to him was a true one, for that he well remembers the contents, wh;ich this deponent believes was as follows in substance, to wit:

Salathiel MARTIN being sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God did depose & say that he Captain Salathiel MARTIN of lawful age that in the year 1778 there was an act of assembly of the State of North Carolina for the purpose of balloting men into the Continental service for the space of nine months, that he then was a captain of a company of militia soldiers in the County of Surry and State of  North Carolina and that he received orders from his Colonel Martin ARMSTRONG then Colonel of said County of Surry to proceed with his company at the court house to to carry said act of assembly into effect which this deponent did & made his draft and drafted Godfrey RIDGE son of William RIDGE, David RIGG Michael HENDERSON George ROBERTS & William DAVIS. That after Godfrey Ridge was drafted he absconded layout and would not march which subjected him to serve three years or during the war in the continental service. That in the spring of the year 1780 William RIDGE did give William T. LEWIS two negro girls by the names of SAL & NANN two of the negroes now in dispute for him the said LEWIS to enlist & pick a man into the continental service in the place of his said son Godfrey RIDGE. This deponant says he well remembers that the said Wm T LEWIS had the said negro girl NAN in his possession in the spring of the year 1780 in consequence of the contract he had made with the said William RIDGE and the said girl SAL sometime after and after the contract took place this deponent as captain of said company suffered said Godfrey to remain at home in peace which he would not before have suffered could he have taken him.
"Question 1st. Do you know anything of Thomas RIDGE or his character.

Ansr. Thomas RIDGE never belonged to my company nor do I believe he was for many years in Surry County until after the death of William RIDGE in the year 1780 & after the Battle of Kings Mountain nor do I believe he could know anything of the contract between Wm T. LEWIS & William RIDGE for said negroes. As to Thomas RIDGES character he was of bad report in the county where I was acquainted with him. He was said to have a connection with horse thieves.

"Quest 2d. Do you know anything of the characters of John COMBS, William COMBS, Biram COMBS, Jeremiah COMBS, Thomas CODY, Godfrey CODY, John STACY or any of them.

Ansr. I believe they were all relations of William RIDGE. I do also believe them all to be disaffected to the American cause that the most of them took an active part with the British & some of them murdered a son of Mr. BRADLEY in Mecklenburg County North Carolina and the rest of them were infamous villains.

"Quest 3d. Do you know anything of William COOK giving one of the negroes returned by Nathan ALLEN in his schedule after the married the widow of William Ridge to the county court of Surry.

Ansr. There was a negro fellow called Jack that he William COOK some time after the said ALLEN married the said widow of Wm RIDGE he the said COOK was appointed guardian to said RIDGES children and he sold said negro fellow JACK for the puropose of getting a piece of land to support said children on.

"Quest. 4th. Do you know of any other children of William RIDGE than is mentioned in the complainants bill of complaint

Ansr. I do. There was two of the elder children of William RIDGE that is not mentioned in the Complainants Bill of Complaint (to wit), Godfree RIDGE & Nancy RIDGE & two others that was said to be William RIDGES base begotten children to wit the before mentioned Thomas RIDGE and the wife of Biram COMBS.

"Quest 5. Do you know any thing of Nathan ALLENS supporting the children of William RIDGE after said ALLEN married said widow?

"Ansr. Said ALLEN intermarried with the widow of William RiIDGE, supported the children about two years and received nothing for it except an old horse he took away with him.

"Quest 6. Do you or do you not remember to have heard in the year 1780 when John GOWING robbed William T. LEWIS one of the present defendants, that said LEWIS supposed he had lost a bill of sale he had got of Wm RIDGE for the before mentioned negroes SALL & NAN.

"Ansr. I did at that time remember to have heard it.

"Quest. 7th. did you or did you not hear that the said Wm T. LEWIS had applied to Winefred RIDGE wife of William RiDGE Godfree RIDGE son of said William and John FIELDER son in law of said William RIDGE for them to give him a second bill of sale for said SALL & NAN in consequence of his supposing he had lost the first he the said LEWIS supposing them the only persons that have the management of his Wm RIDGES affairs and that you understood they did give said LEWIS a bill of sale for said negroes SALL & NAN.

"Ansr. Yes I did.

"Quest 8th. Do you or do you not think that the recovery that was made by William COOK & Jonathan HAINES guardians for the children of William RIDGE deceased against Wm T. LEWIS in the county court of Surry North Carolina, that the amount of that judgment was the worth of CATE & her three children that is mentioned in the complainants bill.

"Ansr. I do think it the full value of said negroes CATE & her three children that is mentioned in the complainants bill, & that Wm T. LEWIS did pay said judgment.

"Quest 9th. Have your or have you not known Reze JERVIS of Surry County in North Carolina

"Ansr. I have known him I suppose upwards of thirty years.

"Do you suppose him to be friendly to Wm T. LEWIS one of the present defendants.

"Ansr. I know he is not. I have known them to dispute frequently and do believe he would refuse said Lewis in every sense of the word if it lay in his power and further this deponent saith not"


This deponent saith that the said Salathiel MARTIN then said he would no more give testimony by the ways of deposition but would the the next Salisbury Court, and give testimony viva voce in proper person, nor could the deponent prevail with him to attend and give his deposition. This deponent thinking it strange said Salathiels wife informed him that said MARTINS mother was married to said Jonathan HAINS who had frequently abused his mother on account of the deposition he had already given in this cause & that was his reason for refusing & further this deponent saith not.


We the subscribing Justices of the Peace for Davidson County and State of Tennessee before whom the deposition of John P. McCONNEL was taken in the suit depending in the court of Equity for the District of Salisbury and State of North Carolina wherein Jonathan HAINS the next friend of the Orphans of William RIDGE is plaintiff and William T. LEWIS and others are defendants do certify that the said deposition of said John P. McCONNEL was taken at the court house of Davidson County in the town of Nashville and State of Tennessee on the 24th day of August in the year 1804. In witness whereof we have hereto set our hands & affixed our seals this day & date last above written & we do further certify that said deposition was subscribed & sworn to before us the subscribing Justices for the county aforesaid, by the said John P. McCONNEL at the time & place in this certificate before mentioned.

J. J. Parker J. P. (seal)
E. Gamble J. P. (seal)

State of Tennessee Greene County

Personally appeared before me Rob't Wyly and Benj'm McNutt two of the Justices of the Piece for the County aforesaid, John P McConnell and maid oath that he did attend in hehalf of Wm T Lewis at Michael Bacons in Hawkens County and at Jeferson Court hous and at green Court house to take the Depositions of Cartain [sic] persons in asute depending in the Court of Equity and District of Salsbary north Carolina where in Janathen Hains is plantive & Wm T lewis is Defendent  agreeable to the notice given given [sic] to Jonathan Haines Sworn to and Subscribed before us this 4 Day of august 1804

John P McConnell

Robt Wyly J P
B'n McNutt J.P


References Cited

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

North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979, Rowan County, NC. File: William Ridge; viewed on 9/9/2012 at

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