Preston and Others v. George W. Coons, Administrator of the Estate of Milton Duty, et al.
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Preston, Braxton
others, slaves of MiltonMilton
Duty deceased
vs
George W.CoonsGeorge W Coons , adminis
trator of MiltonMilton Duty decd
David CoonsDavid Coons & other

In the St. LouisCircuit Court
Circuit CourtCircuit Court
in Chancery

The joint answer of AndrewAndrew ChristyChristy an Executor,
and Mary CoonsMary Coons widow and Co Executrix of
David CoonsDavid Coons deceased to the bill of Complaint
of Preston, Braxton and others, people of
Color and slaves belonging to the Estate of
MiltonMilton Duty deceased, wherein the said
David CoonsDavid Coons deceased was in his life time made
a defendant-

These defendants, AndrewAndrew ChristyChristy
and CoonsCoons , reserving all rights and
benefit of exception to the said bill of Complaint
of the said Preston, Braxton and other complain
ants on account of the manifold errors and
insufficiencies therein contained, for answer
thereto or to so much thereof as they are
advised it is necessary for them to make answer
to, say that since the time of filing the said bill of
Complaint, David CoonsDavid Coons one of the defendants
named in said Bill, has departed this life, and
that letters testamentary have
been duly granted to these defendants by the judge of the Probate
Court of St Louis County and that they are the only
Executors and the only executors of the last will
and testament of the said David CoonsDavid Coons deceased
therein named, and as such are now acting and
have so acted, since the grant of said letters
testamentary.
And these defendants further state that
they do not know whether the all or any
of the complainants were slaves of MiltonMilton Duty as in said
bill alleged, but have understood and believe that they

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were so, and so far as these defendants are concerned, they
are willing to admit the fact so to be - neither do these
defendants know whether the said complainants were
removed, nor at what time they were removed from
the State of MississippiMississippi to St LouisSt Louis in the State of MissouriMissouri
but have been informed and believe that they were
removed to the State of MissouriMissouri from MississippiMississippi
in the manner and about the time as in said
bill alleged, and so far as it concerns these defen
dants there admit the fact so to be - these defendants
do not know whether or not the said MiltonMilton Duty hired
out the Complainants and received considerable
sums for their hires as in said bill alleged until the
time of his death, nor do they admit the fact, but
if it be material, require proof of it.
These defen
dants have been informed and believe that the
said Duty died same time in or about
the month of August A.D.1838 at St. LouisSt Louis and admit
the fact so to be as the said bill stated. These
defendants do not know whether or not the said Duty
made & published his last will and testament, nor whether
or not the same was proven before the Probate
Court of Warren CountyWarren County in the State of MississippiMississippi
as in said bill alleged - nor whether or not
John J. Guion and David DDavid D .Gibson were therein
appointed executors - nor whether or not
they refused or neglected to qualify as such
, nor whether or not HenryHenry Fernandis was
appointed administrator and qualified as such
as in said bill alleged nor do they admit the fact so to be, but if
deemed material, they require competent proof
therof -