Thomas McGee (aka Thomas Ridge), 1804 Deposition, Davidson County, Tennessee

Depositions from the Estate File of William Ridge

Ridges Orphans
vs } Deposition
Wm T. Lewis

Deposition of Thomas RIDGE or T. Ridge Magee

Taken by W. T. Lewis
23d Aug't 1804- at
Nashville County of Davidson
cop'd for Defend Nov 1804

State of Tennessee     )
Davidson County       )

In obedience to a commission to us directed from the honourable the Judges of the Superior Court of Law and Court of Equity for the District of Salisbury and State of North Carolina we have proceeded to take the deposition of Thomas RIDGE or Thomas Ridge McGEE, as the deponent says that he goes by and by some people called by the other name and being first sworn in a certain matter of controversy in said court of Equity now depending wherein Jonathan HAINS as the next friend of the orphans of William RIDGE is Plaintiff and William T. LEWIS and others are defendants, deposeth and saith that there has been produced to him the following instrument of writing, purporting to be the copy of this deponents deposition filed in the Equity office of Salisbury, North Carolina, to wit:

"State of North Carolina  )
"Surry County                 )

"In Obedience to a commission to us directed from the clerk or Master of the Court of Equity to be held for Salsbury we have caused to come before us this 2d day of September 1794, Thomas RIDGE and he being duly sworn on the Holy Evengelists of Almighty God, Deposeth and saith that that some time in the year 1781 he heard Wm T. LEWIS tell John FIELDER Junr. who married a bastard daughter as he has always understood and believes that the Commissioners were a coming to seize on the Tory property FIELDER replies and says what should he do about his mother-in-laws negroes. Wm T. LEWIS told FIELDER if he would give him the negro wench NAN he would secure the rest for him said FIELDER. But FIELDER replied that he did not know what his Mother in law would say to that, then LEWIS replied that she had better save some than lose all. Says FIELDER how will you secure them for me, then LEWIS replies, I will draw a bill of sale for them in Wm RIDGES name agreeable to the time or date that said RIDGES went out in the Cherokee expedition and sign it to you. This was at the house of the said Wm. T LEWIS, and they took pen ink and paper, and went into the next room and John FIELDER told me that night & Wm T. LEWIS next morning that they had made out said bill of sale in RIDGES name to John FIELDER of the negroes upon which FIELDER agreed to give him NAN and in a few days LEWIS went up to FIELDERS where Winney RIDGE then lived in order to get NAN, and further LEWIS told him that he had cleared Godfrey RIDGE for SAL during the war and at that time Lewis had SAL in possession but not NAN. And further this deponent saith not.

"Sworn & Subscribed before us the day and year above

"Thomas (his X mark) RIDGE MAGEE

"John Burch J. P (seal)
"Obediah Martin (seal)

This deponent most solemnly swears that should the foregoing copy be a true one, of the one filed in Mr. Maxwell Chambers office, Clerk & Master in Equity for Salisbury District, North Carolina, that he has been most imfamously imposed upon by Jonathan HAINS as it contains in substance not one word of truth, and it was not read to him this deponent as it is written.

This deponent says that about thirteen or fourteen years ago he was frequently persuaded by William COOK, Esquire and Winney ALLEN formerly the wife of Wm. RIDGE deceased to take a false oath that is to say they wished him to swear that he knew something of  a trade that was made between Wm T. LEWIS and William RIDGE or that John FIELDER had given Wm T. LEWIS a bill of sale for two of the Negroes now in dispute, viz SALL & NANN. This deponent says that he told them that all alike knew about the matter was from what he had gathered from Mrs. ALLEN formerly Mrs. RIDGE and the COMBSES, STACEYS and their connections for that he was not present when Wm RIDGE sold SAL & NAN to Wm. T. LEWIS, neither was he present when John FIELDER, Winney RIDGE & Godfrey RIDGE gave the second bill of sale to Wm T. LEWIS for said two negroes SAL & NAN. When he expected that he had lost the one he had got of Wm RIDGE for said two negroes when one John GOWEN & Nicholas COMBS robbed him. This deponent says that he is well satisfied that Godfrey RIDGE was a drafted man into the army and that Wm T. LEWIS found a substitute and put into his place and that Wm RIDGE did give the two negro girls mentioned Sall & Nann to Wm T. LEWIS to clear his son, for that he has heard it from the most of RIDGES connections.

This deponent says that he has seen in the copy of the bill in equity filed by Jonathan HAINS against Wm T. LEWIS & others, absurd falsities charged by said HAINS against said LEWIS.

This deponent says that he was subpoened in a suit in Surry County Court North Carolina wherein Wm COOK Esquire & Jonathan HAINS as Guardians of the Orphans of William RIDGE had sued Wm T. LEWIS, this deponent denies that Wm T. LEWIS ever issued a warrant against him for house burning, neither does he believe he knew everything of one being issued until it was executed and himself committed by the justice that issued it and was carried by the constable by his shop to have a pair of hand cuffs put on. Neither did the said LEWIS ever pretend to frighten this deponent or say that he did not wish him to attend, but to the contrary has told this deponent that he thought his testimony when taken might be in his favour from what he had understood together with what this deponent had informed him.

This deponent says he left North Carolina before the war between America and Great Britain and never came into Surry County or the upper part of the State until after the Battle of Kings Mountain and that he had not seen Wm RIDGE for many years before his death until he saw him on the day that he was killed, for that he this deponent was in the action of the Hanging Rock in South Carolina in the year 1780 on the Whig side and he has been informed that William RIDGE was then killed on the Tory side.

This deponent further saith that he is a half brother to the deceased William Ridge and that before the war with America and Great Britain that he this deponent lived with his brother & that Godfrey Ridge & Nancy Ridge now the wife of John FIELDER Junr. was then living with their father William RIDGE, and always called by him his children, and them as brothers and sisters and further this deponent saith not.

Sworn to and subscribed before us the subscribing Justices of the Peace for the County of Davidson & State of Tennessee at the court house of Davidson aforesaid in the town of Nashville and State of Tennessee this twenty third day of August in the year one thousand eight hundred and four. In witness whereof we have hereto set our hands & affixed our seals the date last above written.

Thos (his X mark) RIDGE MGEE

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

We the subscribing Justices of the Peace for the county aforesaid before whom the above deposition of Thomas RIDGE or Thomas Ridge MAGEE was taken do certify that it was taken before us at the court house of Davidson County in the State of Tennessee in the town of Nashville on the 23 day of August 1804. Given under our hands & seals the day & year above written.

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