- Complaining to the Justices of the Court, your oratrix & orator Susann West and John Roles West and infant by said Susanna West his next friend (guardian). That a certain Revil West late husband of your said oratrix and father of your orator, now dec'd, was in his lifetime & at his death possessed in his own right of the following slaves, to wit, Jo, Jim, Abram, Ben, Andrew, Letty, Vianna, Emanuel, Shadrack, Israel, Sam & old Israel, and being so possessed upon the 25 Dec 1802 departed this life intestate, leaving your oratrix his widow, and your orator John Roles West , also Maria Hall West & Revil West his children and no more, by reason whereof your oratrix is advised that the said slaves have descended to the said John, Maria & Revil equally to be divided, subject to the dower of your oratrix therein . Your orator & oratrix also represent that it would greatly condense to the interest of them as well as to the interest of the said Maria & Revil to have a division of said slaves made among them, at the same time laying off and setting apart the dower of your oratrix therein. But so it is may if please your worships that the said Maria and Revil being infants of tender years, nothing effectual and binding can be done in the premises without the aid of your worships. In tender consideration whereof and for as much as your oratrix, who is the guardian of said children, cannot rightfully assign dower to herself in said slaves, nor can any division of them be made without the interference of a court of chancery whose cognizance extends to all cases of the nature. To the end therefore that a division of said slaves may be made as aforesaid and the dower of your oratrix therein be assigned, may it please your worships to grant to oratrix & orator the commonwealth writ of spa to the said Maria & Revil to be directed commanding them &c. Signed: Wise for the complainants.
The answer of Maria Hall West and Revil West infants by Thomas Parker their guardian specially appointed to defend the suit brought against them by Susanna West & Jno. Roles West. These defts by their said guardian say that they admit it to be true that Revil West their father died at the time stated by the complainants possessed of the slaves also stated by them. They also admit that said Revil their father left the said Susanna the mother of these defts his widow & the said Jno. Roles West & these defts his children & no more, & that it would be to the advantage of all concerned to have a division of said slaves made & dower therein assigned as is prayed for by the complainants. They have no objection to the said assignment & division but being infants can give no consent or do any act obligatory or effectual made by the superintendence and directions of your worships, to ----- decree in this case they humbly submit it themselves. Signed: Thos Parker.
In obedience to an order of the Court of Accomack County to as directed , requiring us to assign the dower and to divide the slaves of the estate of Revil West dec'd, we have proceeded to do the same in the following manner, Viz. to the widow we have assigned as downer Joe, Emanuel, Shadrack, Letty, Lsam(?) and upon the division of the remaining slaves among the children, John Rowles West drew Jim and Vianna; and to pay to Mariah West the sum of one pound, thirteen shillings and four pence; Revel West drew Marsham and Ben, and to pay to Maria West the sum of six pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence; and Mariah West drew Andrew and your Isreal and is to receive from Jno. R. West the sum of one pound, thirteen shillings and four pence and from Revel West the sum of ten pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence. Old Isreal being and old man very chargeable and finding difficulty in justly assigning him to any one of the parties, in our considered at more comonant with the premises of justice and right that he should remain undivided and be supported during his life by all the parties agreeable to their respective interests, that is the widow Susannah West during her life and the less of said negro Isreal to pay one third of the expenses of keeping him and the remaining two-thirds of the expense be equally borne by Jno. R. West, Revel West & Mariah West. Given under our hands this 20 Dec 1804. Signed: William Gibb Sen, Jno. S. Ker & William Seymour.