John McConnell, 1800 Deposition, 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 & Court of Equity held for the District of Salisbury & State of North Carolina, We have on the ___ day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred at the House of  ___ in the county  & State aforesaid, proceeded to take the deposition of John McCONNELL of lawfull age, in the suit now depending in the aforesaid Court of Equity, wherein Jonathan Haines (as the nearest friend to the Orphants of William RIDGE) is plaintiff & William Terrell LEWIS, William COOK & others are defendants, who is a follows,

This deponant deposeth & saith that he moved from Virginia to North Carolina in the year 1785 & settles in the neighbourhood where William T. LEWIS lived & near to where William RIDGE had lived & that he then understood Willam T. LEWIS had a Negro Girl called SALL & another called NANN, from William RIDGE, which said LEWIS was then in possession of said Negroes SALL & NANN, & has as this depoantn believes been in possession of them ever since and is at this time. The said Negroes he understood was given by William RIDGE to William T. LEWIS for him said LEWIS, to put aman in the place of William RIDGE'S son Godfrey RIDGE, he beingt a delinquent from the nine months draughts & refused to march, subjected him to serve for three years or during the War, in the Continental Service, as the deponant believes was the law

This deponant saith that he was at that time informed that William T. LEWIS had been robbed by one John GOINGS Brother in Law to William RIDGE & by one of the COMBS'S nephew to said RIDGE, & that they had destroyed a great many of his papers & that he supposed the bill of sale he had got of William RIDGE for said two Negroe girls, SALL & NANN, & amongst the rest, thatt he said LEWIS'S overseer had gathered them from off the floor, where GOINGS & COMBS had scattered them, put them into bundles & took them up to Old Major LEWIS'S & that the Bill of Sale had been hunted for but not found. But that said William T. LEWIS had then made application to Winnifred RIDGE, wife to William RIDGE, John FIELDER son in law to said RIDGE & Godfrey RIDGE the eldest son of said William RIDGE, for antoher Bill of Sale, for said two Negroes SALL & NANN, as it was reported at that time for said RIDGE to have been killed by the whiggs in an action at the Hanging Rock South Carolina & they well knowing of the first Bill of Sale, that had been given to William T. LEWIS by William RIDGE, this deponant sayeth that Winnefred ALLEN formerly the wife of William RIDGE informed him this deponant that she, John FIELDER & Godfrey RIDGE, had given William T. LEWIS a Bill of Sale for said two Negroes, now in dispute, viz. SAL & NAN, in consequence of her expecting he had lost the one got of her husband for them, for that he had put a man in the place of Godfrey RIDGE agreeable to the bargain made with her husband William RIDGE.

This deponant saith that he understood by William T. LEWIS that he found the Bill of Sale that he got of William RIDGE, for said Negroes SAL & NAN, amongst some old papers at his fathers in the fall of they year 1785 & shew'd said Bill of Sale to him this deponant at that time. On which Bill of Sale you will find my affadavit made in the following words on the reverse (viz) Surry County No Carolina & John McCONNELL maketh oath that his is the identical Bill of Sale alluded to in his deposition in the suit William COOK & Jonathan HAINES against William T. LEWIS, now depending in the County Court of Surry, Sworn to before us June 2nd 1790. John McCONNELL

Test. Zack. RAY )
O. M. BENGE     )

And is the Bill of Sale shewn me by William T. LEWIS in 1785 & now alluded to in this my present deposition &  do from the information given me by RIDGES family believe it to be the one given by William RIDGE to William T. LEWIS

This deponant further sayeth that some years ago, there was a report in circulation that Jonathan HAINES the present plaintiff, collogued with Winnifred ALLEN formerly the wife of William RIDGE, to get her to give him a power of attorney for him to sue William T. LEWIS for SAL, one of the Negroes now in dispute & that he HAINES has said he had got a power of attorney for that purpose. But Mrs. ALLEN deny'd it in presence of this deponant, & went before a Jutice of the Peace of Surry County & made oath that she had rec'd full satisfaction of William T. LEWIS for s'd Negroes & alluded to in the Bill of Sale, as she informed this deponant as her former husband William RIDGE, had given to William T. LEWIS for said Negroes SAL & NAN, & the one that she, John FIELDER & Godfrey RIDGE had given to LEWIS when he expected he had lost the first & further swore that she did not wish William T. LEWIS sued for said Negroes.

This deponant furhter sayeth that ever since he came into the State of North Carolina that he has understood that William RIDGE gave Thomas AYRES a Negro wench called CATE & her child JIM (tho' JIM has been a number of years dead) & for the wife of S'd Thomas to Doctor a daughter of s'd RIDGES that was afflicted with pains, & has understood by Winnifred ALLEN the mother of said child, that Mrs. AYRES had doctored her child a very considerable time in consequence of the contract made with her husband.

"Question asked in behalf of the Defendant. do you know anything of the characters of Thomas CODY, William CODY, Godfrey CODY, John COMBS, William COMBS, Mason COMBS, or the charater of the Cody's & Combs's in general if you do relate it,

Answer. I have heard that they were called robbers, Torys and bad people and farther this deponant saith not


We do hereby certify that the above John McConnell was sworn & interogated before us at the Swelling House of Robert Edmondson Esq'r in the County of Davidson County district of Mero & State of Tennessee the 1st day of December 1800

E. Gamble J. P. (seal)
B. D. Wills J. P. (seal)

References Cited

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

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