Preston and Others v. George W. Coons, Administrator of the Estate of Milton Duty, et al.
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as above stated, they asked for the trunks of the deceased
and these were the first words which they spoke.Deponent
saw the young men all the while in the house
of the deceased, until they went out with the trunks,
and did not see them go out, after they came in
until they went out with the trunks, should think
that it was ten or fifteen minutes from the time
the young men aforesaid came in, until they went
out of the house with the trunks; Deponent Does not know who went
out after and the shroud for the deceased This
Deponent states, that he does not know what description
of papers the torn papers were, which he
has already mentioned as having been left on the
floor, after the two young men had gone out with
the trunks - deponent can read writing but did
not examine the torn papers left, as above stated.
Deponent states, that the papers spoken of as torn,
were torn as if a half-sheet of paper
had been torn into four or five pieces; he does not
know what became of the fragments of the torn
papers described above. Deponent believes that both
the trunks before mentioned were carried off at the same
time Deponent thinks that the slaves of Duty
knew that their master had made a will to free
them at his death as he was not backward in talking
about it before them. Duty died any suddenly. Deponent
was in this room of Duty talking with
him about fifteen minutes before his
death; the deceased said that he did not feel right;
deponent then went home-saw Duty come out on the
porch of his house and fall-when deponent went immediately back to him, and then the deceased immediately
died, when he had only time to taken him up
in his lap, before he was dead Deponent does not know
that any post mortem examination was made of the body

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of the deceased at any time after his death
the corpse of the deceased turned a little darker
after death- deponent after shaving the deceased went
home and came back once before he went to bed. This
deponent says, that his object in making his
against the examination of the trunks, was that
he thought they ought first (the young men before mentioned)
to attended to the corpse. Deponent did not know that the
torn papers which he has before spoken of were of
any value or not - did not at the time form any
opionion about them. The papers were examined in an
adjoining room to that in which the deponent was, and
a door communicating between the rooms was open
at the time; does not know who tore up the papers.
Deponent says that the persons who examined the trunks
did not try to do so out of his sight. Deponent does
not know that the torn papers came out of the trunk
aforesaid; but lay near where the trunks were examined,
and had not seen them before.

Deponent being again examine in chief, states,
that he did not examine the fragments of the torn
papers spoken of, but only kicked them over with
his feet. Deponent thinks that Duty returned
from MississippiMississippi five or six weeks before his death
as well as he recollects. The two white men frequently
spoken of in this deposition when they came into
the house of the deceased, went up to the bed where the corpse lay, and saw that Duty was dead.

JamesJames Dame


Sworn and subscribed to as aforesaid, before me and in my
presence, on the day and at the place and in that
behalf-aforesaid

Alphonso WitmoreAlphonso Witmore


Justice of the Peace