Filed in Drawer 193, Smith vs. Smith, Augusta (Appeal) Chancery
To the Honourable the judge of the Staunton Superior Court of Chancery.
The Amended Bill of William Grayson and William Smith executor of John Smith deceased humbly represents –
That a suit was heretofore instituted on the Chauncery side of the County Court of Albemarle against Thomas Smith the younger & Susannah Smith, by the following persons, to wit, Your Orator William Grayson, the said John Smith, in his life time, a certain William Woods & a certain Claudius Buster.The bill filed in said suit sets forth that a controversy having arisen between the said persons & the said defendants concerning the right of property in three negroes, to wit, Robin in the possession of said Thomas Smith the younger & Billy & Maria in the possession of said Susannah Smith, the said parties mutually agreed by a writing dated the 10th of March 1801, to submit said controversy to the decision of certain arbitrators – that said arbitrators in possession of said submission did on the day and year aforesaid by their award in writing decided that the said three slaves should be equally divided among the heirs of Thomas Smith the elder deceased – that by virtue of said award the said persons had become entitled to their proportionable parts of said negroes, but that said defendants had refused to comply therewith, & still retained & withheld the whole of said property.The said Thomas Smith the younger & Susannah Smith filed their answers to said bill, & such promises to Thomas Smith [meaning said Thomas Smith the younger] & Susannah Smith claiming under him, as of the award had not been made; said by the will of Thomas Smith and the said Thomas Smith was before the award entitled to the slaves in question as residuary legatees, & that the said direct dismissing the bill is erroneous:Therefore it is directed& ordered that the same be reversed & annulled, & that the appellees do pay unto the appellants their costs by them expended in the prosecution of their appeal aforesaid here; & it is ordered that the cause be remanded to the said Chancery court with directions to permit the parties to amend the bill for the purpose of showing their interest in the subject in controversy awarding to the principles of this directive and for further proceedings to be had thereunder.
The parties to the aforesaid submission to arbitration were, as already stated, the said Thomas Smith the younger & Susannah Smith, children of the said Thomas Smith the elder, the said John Smith, now deceased his eldest son & executor, your Orator William Grayson who claimed a distributive share of the slaves in controversy in right of his wife Ann. (A daughter of the said Thomas Smith the elder, who died after the recordation of said award, William Wood, who also claimed a distributive share in right of his wife Sigy Wood (another daughter of said Thomas Smith the elder) who is still living, & Claudius Buster who submitted his own interest & also that of his son John Buster. Mary Buster, the wife of said Claudius who was also a daughter of the said Thomas Smith the elder, but died previous to his death, leaving two children of the said Claudius, to wit, the said John Buster & David Buster the latter of whom died prior to said arbitration unmarried and intestate, whereby the said Claudius, his father, became entitled to any interest which he had in the slaves aforesaid.
The said William Wood, it seems, has relinquished all right in the slaves aforesaid, as will appear from his deposition to be found in the record of the suit afore-said; & has departed this life, leaving his son Rice Wood, of Albemarle, his executor.The said Claudius Buster is also deceased leaving Baptist Wood, of Kentucky, & John Buster, of Albemarle (not the son of said Claudius) his executors.The said Baptist Wood has since died, & his co-executor, John Buster, who survived him is also dead, leaving Pleasant Gilliam, of Albemarle, his executor, who, by consequence is the executor of said Claudius Buster.The said Thomas Smith the younger now resides in the State of Kentucky, the said Susannah Smith continues to reside in the County of Albemarle.
The said William Wood having, as your Orator believes, relinquished all interest in the subject, & they having no authority to unite with themselves this executor or the executor of the said Claudius Buster, in the further prosecution of this suit, they are advised to make said executors parties . . .