While Reading the Clagg Court Case

There are many depositions in the Clagg-Sledd Court case from Bedford County,  Virginia, which came to a head in 1827. We’ve written about the case before focusing on the origination of the debt.

But the origination of the debt is only the tip of the iceberg and I’m still trying to figure it out.

The debt is transferred from Amy and John Sledd to one of their sons who then passes it on to his brother. Three of the Sledd’s sons provide testimony in the case. Clagg at some point claims the debt has been paid. The debt was also the subject of legal action in nearby Amherst County a few years earlier–when some members of the Sledd family used to live there. That action was dismissed. The lawyer in that case gives a deposition in the 1827 Bedford County case.

What I need to do is put all the depositions in order. I need to remember that depositions of different witnesses may not provide consistent information and that even depositions that seem repetitive in nature may occasionally provide a new clue. Depositions themselves may not be clear–some occasionally use the word “he,” “him,” and “his” far too often.

And I think there’s even an error in one of them–just one word. But, as one would expect that is a word that matters.

We’re putting the depositions together. The first step is to put them in chronological order along with the other court documents.

The court records I have been using are the images of various original records of Bedford County Court records that online at the Library of Virginia. There may be additional court orders and other records as well.

Those records will not provide the amount of detail that are in the depositions. But they may help me refine the schedule of when the was on the docket and what decisions were made.

And that may help me understand the online copies I have located.

Source:

James Clagg vs. John Sledd Jr., Bedford County, Virginia, Chancery Court; digital image, Library of Virginia, Virginia Memory Collection (Chancery Records), referenced as Bedford County Index Number 1827-013)

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